Still 630 Wins Gold Medal from the American Craft Spirits Association

Categories: Booze

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Still 630's winning spirits. | David Weglarz

Still 630 is essentially a one-man operation. The St. Louis craft distillery was founded in 2012 by David Weglarz. He's been plugging away, making small-batch whiskies and rum, with some local recognition and distribution. But Weglarz won big when he entered his spirits in their second-ever competition with the American Craft Spirits Association.

See also: Still630 Distills Whiskey in Downtown St. Louis

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5 Easy Steps to DIY Kahlúa

Categories: Booze

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"The Dude Abides," a vegan version of a white Russian, complete with vintage glassware. | Patrick J Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

In the dead of winter, rich, sweet drinks are appealing -- preferably those that call to mind warming climes and long sunny days. You can't go wrong with Kahlúa. It's very easy to make on your own, and the homemade stuff is much better than most store-bought coffee liqueurs.

See also: The Night Owl Is the Not-So-Secret Spot Upstairs from Tree House

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No-Compromise Cocktails for Mardi Gras at Evangeline's

Categories: Booze

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A hurricane cocktail made with real fruit juice. | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

Mardi Gras is almost here. If you head down to Soulard and get a plastic cup of something bright red called a hurricane, chances are, it's not one. Besides rum, a hurricane should contain real passionfruit juice. Sadly, many places will be using a powdered mix, like those silver packets of Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Cocktail Mix they sell at the liquor stores this time of year. If you want a good hurricane, avoid the crowds in Soulard and head to Evangeline's Bistro and Music House (512 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-3644) in the Central West End.

See also: How to Make Grenadine at Home in 3 Easy Steps

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A Sneak Peek at Element's New Drink and Snack Menus

Categories: Booze

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The "Blood Moon." | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

Lafayette Square's Element (1419 Carroll Street Street; 314-241-1674) recently brought on a new chef and bar manager. Recently promoted executive chef Brian Coltrain will be focusing on what he calls contemporary comfort food. The real fun is upstairs in the lounge, though. There, bar manager Sasha Alms has put together a brand-new cocktail list with the help of his talented staff -- plus the lounge menu will bring street food indoors.

See also: Ancho Reyes, a Spicy Chile Liqueur, Arrives in St. Louis

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Ancho Reyes, a Spicy Chile Liqueur, Arrives in St. Louis

Categories: Booze

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Tasting Ancho Reyes | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

A couple of months ago, an odd product started appearing in liquor stores and on the shelves of the more adventurous bars: Ancho Reyes. It's a Mexican liqueur made with real ancho chile peppers. Its rich and surprisingly good flavor makes it a natural ingredient to add to cocktails served at better Mexican restaurants, the kind of places that already go well beyond the margarita slushie.

"This is too good to pass up," Kyle Harlan, bar manager at Mission Taco Joint (908 Lafayette Avenue; 314-932-5430) remembers thinking after first tasting Ancho Reyes. "We like products that use real ingredients. You can taste it. It's like biting into an ancho chili, but toned down a little."

See also: 10 Great Bars Without Televisions (Or, Where to Avoid the Big Game)

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Layla's Tony Saputo and the Good Pie's Jeffrey Moll On St. Louis' Evolving Cocktail Scene

Categories: Booze

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Tony Saputo's Manhattan Kansas Revisted. | Nancy Stiles

A few weeks ago, we picked cocktails and bartenders for our "Underrated/Overrated" series and asked readers to vote on the place they think has excellent cocktails but doesn't get enough attention. As voting went on, it became clear that Layla (4317 Manchester Avenue; 314-553-9252) and the Good Pie (6665 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-899-9221) were going to take the top two spots.

Before we could declare a winner, though, Layla owner and barman Tony Saputo got in touch and offered a sit down with himself and the Good Pie's bar manager, Jeffrey Moll, Jr. "We are both big fans of each other and I personally think he is producing easily some of the greatest drinks in the city," he wrote.

See also: Reinventing the Cocktail at Layla

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10 Great Bars Without Televisions (Or, Where to Avoid the Big Game)

Categories: Booze

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Ryder's Tavern | Mabel Suen

Bars used to have a modestly sized television in the corner where patrons could track the progress of the game, or the news, or maybe even a Mexican soap opera. These days, it seems every wall is covered with massive plasma screens bleating out a steady stream of noise and drawing everyone into a malignant web. Sometimes you just want to have a couple of drinks and a chat.

Luckily, there are still a few local watering holes left where one can enjoy the pleasant social experience of going to a bar without the constant distraction of television. Here are our ten favorite spots to go enjoy a conversation and avoid the Super Bowl.

See also: The Night Owl Is the Not-So-Secret Spot Upstairs from Tree House

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The Night Owl Is the Not-So-Secret Spot Upstairs from Tree House

Categories: Booze

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The "Cachaça Samba" at the Night Owl. | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

There are plenty of good places to grab a drink on South Grand, from restaurant bars to dives, but the new Night Owl space above Tree House Restaurant (3177 South Grand Boulevard; 314-696-2100) is a welcome addition. This stylish and cozy spot offers craft beer, wine and a nice cocktail list, plus regular music and late-night food are coming soon.

See also: How to Make the Perfect New Year's Day Detox Cocktail

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How to Make the Perfect New Year's Day Detox Cocktail

Categories: Booze

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A tried-and-true hangover remedy. | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

It's never a problem finding something to do New Year's Eve, with all the events, special dinners and parties to choose from. It's the day after that really requires foresight and careful consideration. Be sure to lay in supplies for your first drink of 2015. It just might be the most important drink of the year, so choose wisely.

See also: Perfecting the Eggless Nog

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How to Make George Washington's Christmas Eggnog

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Charles Thomas

Micheal Banvard demonstrates how to make home-made eggnog fit for a president. This recipe dates back more than 200 years and is known as George Washington's signature holiday drink. Cheers!

See also: Where to Eat in St. Louis on Christmas Eve

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