The speakeasy-style restaurant Taste by Niche has become a St. Louis mainstay by pairing artisanal, crafted cocktails with small-bite classics like bacon-fried cornbread, BBQ lamb with spoonbread, and cioppino fettuccine with scallops. Chef Gerard Craft, a four-time James Beard Award nominee, works closely with mixologist Kyle Mathis, who creates drinks that complement the flavorful food while also encouraging an atmosphere that is part club, part pub. Come autumn, Mathis starts serving his signature cocktail, which he designed for the colder months.
"As it starts to cool down in St. Louis, I tend to drink darker spirits and cocktails such as Manhattans, but when I am in the mood for a citrusy cocktail this time of the year, a very spicy bold cocktail like the Red Road is exactly what I want." says Mathis. "I created the Red Road for a friend who . . . likes mulled wine."
The Angostura bitters and allspice dram in the cocktail mix bring out flavors that recall cinnamon and anise, while the grenadine and egg whites smooth out the rye's rough edges. The cocktail goes down well with or without barbecue – though we always err on the side of barbecue.
• 1 oz Rittenhouse rye
• 1/2 oz St. Elizabeth allspice dram
• 1/2 oz Angostura bitters
• 3/4 oz grenadine
• 3/4 oz lemon
• 3/4 oz egg white
Shake with ice, and strain into a large cocktail glass.