Moon Mountain Wild Raspberry Vodka
Provenace: Norwalk, Conn. (35% abv)
Available at: Gabi's Liquor, 710 S. New Florissant Road, Florissant, 314.972.8500; $20
Flavored vodkas that truly taste as the label conveys are rare. This organic, small-batch, pot-still offering is a true representation of macerated raspberries. Flavors of raspberry and pomegranate dominate the palate without the cough syrup-esque sweetness that is customary with other raspberry vodkas on the market.
- 1.5 oz Moon Mountain Raspberry
- .5 oz fresh lime juice
- .25 oz simple syrup
- ginger beer, to top off
- lime wedge, to garnish
| Preparation | Combine all ingredients over ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into an ice filled collins glass and top off with ginger beer and a lime wedge.
Provenance: Italy (11% abv)
Available at: Randall's Wines and Spirits, multiple locations, shoprandalls.com; $24.99
An Italian favorite for almost 100 years, this bitter orange liqueur flavored with dozens of herbs and spices is making a splash in the St. Louis mixology scene and is worthy of a place in your home bar. Not as bitter as its fellow Italian spirit Campari, Aperol is more approachable and cocktail-friendly. It is not too sweet or bitter, just balanced. Pour a splash in a glass of bubbly and relax!
Recipe by Chris Kelling of Pi Pizzeria
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz Cocchi Americano
- 1 oz Aperol
| Preparation | Combine all ingredients over ice. Stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
St. George Absinthe Verte
Provenance: Alameda, Calif. (60% abv)
Available at: The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple locations, wineandcheeseplace.com; $69.99
Absinthe has been back on the market for three years now, and this California distillery is giving overseas competitors a run for their money. St. George is my pick for the most well-balanced option on the shelves. Use it as a wash for your Sazerac cocktail (like the one on page 17), or try the traditional cold-water drip presentation. Skip the sugar, please.
St. George Sazerac
- 2.5 oz St George Single Malt Whiskey
- .5 oz simple syrup
- 2 dashes Peychauds bitters
| Preparation | Pour .50 oz St. George Absinthe in an ice filled rocks glass. Fill with water. In a separate mixing glass, combine whiskey, simple syrup and bitters. Fill with ice and stir for 30 seconds. Empty the absinthe glass and strain the whiskey mixture into it. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Award-winning sommelier and mixologist Chad Michael George is founder of Proof Academy, which covers everything from wine and cocktail list consulting to spirits and mixology education.