Blind Tiger's "Whiskey Business" Cocktail Sneaks Up on You

Blind Tiger's "Whiskey Business." | Nancy Stiles

We're in full-on spring mode here at Gut Check world headquarters, but that doesn't mean we're giving up whiskey. The spirit is known to warm a fella up, but the Blind Tiger's (7376 Manchester Road; 314-646-8822) whiskey cocktails are perfect for spring, too.

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Remy's Kitchen's "Kentucky Venetian" Makes Whiskey Accessible

       The "Kentucky Venetian" at Remy's Kitchen. | Nancy Stiles

Happy Hump Day! Here's the cocktail that will get you through to Friday.

Remy's Kitchen & Wine Bar (222 South Bemiston Avenue, Clayton; 314-726-5757) offers a lot more than wine. Drinking is encouraged, though, by both the plethora of bottles behind the bar and the murals on the wall. "My only regret in life," reads one from John Maynard Keynes, "'is that I did not drink more Champagne." Sounds like pretty good advice. Bartender Matt DeVous offers us the "Kentucky Venetian," a cocktail perfect for this middling weather. It's got one foot in winter and one foot in spring.

See also: Chef's Choice: Lisa Slay, Remy's Kitchen & Wine Bar

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Small Batch Whiskey's "Smokysweet" Combines Rhubarb Bite with Bourbon

        The "Smokysweet." | Zach Garrison

The recently opened Small Batch Whiskey & Fare (3001 Locust Street; 314-494-2174) will undoubtedly be a vital piece to midtown's reawakening, offering a full vegetarian menu and, most importantly, a nice selection of whiskey. Yet another wonderful addition to the Baileys' family, this new member brings not only a focus on cocktails, but also a unique space. Gut Check stopped by to test out the menu and, as usual, hang out at the bar, where a "Smokysweet" quickly appeared.

See also:
The Scottish Arms' "Blond Lass": Gut Check's Hump Day Cocktail Suggestion

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Planter's House's Perfectly Blended "Down for the Count" Cocktail

        A well-crafted cocktail, "Down for the Count." | Zach Garrison

Happy Hump Day! Here's the cocktail that will get you through to Friday.

Planter's House (Mississippi Avenue; 314-696-2603) is cocktail heaven. A place to sit back and enjoy a layered, carefully crafted drink. The dark wood and arched ceiling give the room a historic vibe, as if the bar has always existed here, even though it just opened on December 6. Fitting in perfectly behind the bar with his excellent nineteenth-century beard is Matt Sorrell. He's an expert mixologist capable of making great conversation while simultaneously throwing together ingredients with ease. And he's making the "Down for the Count" just for us.

See also: First Look: Planter's House Plates Up Duck Burgers, Goat Spaetzle and More

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Gringo's "Classica with a Twist" is the Perfect Margarita for Winter

        An instant "Classica.". | Zach Garrison

As we've previously noted, Gringo is the perfect place for daytime drinking and they make a killer margarita -- the perfect way to pretend that it's a balmy 60 degrees outside. Barkeep Brandon Monterusso makes us a "Classica with a Twist," adding his own favorite tequila and a splash of something special at the end.

See also: Juniper's "Mississippi Punch" is a True Southerner's Drink

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Gamlin Whiskey House's Honey-Laced "Bees Knees" Cocktail Is Just That

        The Gamlin Whiskey House's "Bees Knees." | Zach Garrison

The bar at the Gamlin Whiskey House (236 North Euclid Avenue; 314-875-9500) is quite an impressive display -- shelves upon shelves of whiskey bottles, around 350 in total. You could sit for hours just scrolling through the bourbon and Scotch list.

When faced with such a tough decision, it's best to just ask a pro. Thankfully, veteran bartender Kelly Tindall throws together a simple but delicious drink with a twist -- the "Bees Knees."

See also: The Whiskey Ring's "Stockton Pride" Cocktail Inspired by Missouri's Black Walnuts

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The Whiskey Ring's "Stockton Pride" Cocktail Inspired by Missouri's Black Walnuts

        Miles Long, John Joern and Jason Matthews work behind the bar. | Zach Garrison

The newly opened Whiskey Ring (2651 Cherokee Street; 314-769-7249) capitalizes on the renewed interest in whiskey and its many varieties, but it does so in a very simple, unpretentious way -- a very laid-back and unintimidating place to try out a new style or brand. With a freshly minted cocktail menu emerging this week, we decided to grab a sip of one of the drinks to look forward to. Miles Long (surely one of the best bartender names you're likely to find) went to work on a "Stockton Pride," while we warmed up with a hot toddy.

See also:
Gut Check's Three Favorite Cocktails of 2013

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Gut Check's Three Favorite Cocktails of 2013

       Olio's transcendent "Emerson." | Zach Garrison

It's a tough job, but, somehow, we managed to try enough cocktails to pick out three of our favorite for 2013. It's been a banner year for fancy drinks in St. Louis -- just about every week a new whiskey or cocktail bar opened up. Mixologists are now veritable artists, crafting custom drinks and inventing crazy concoctions on the spot. Across the board, the bar has been raised -- and we couldn't be happier.

See also:
Still630 Distills Whiskey in Downtown St. Louis

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Juniper's "Mississippi Punch" is a True Southerner's Drink

        Juniper's "Mississippi Punch." | Zach Garrison

Any bar that makes good use of three antiquated refrigerators is bound to whip up an impressive drink, at least that was our rational as we grabbed a stool at Juniper: A Southern Table and Bar. We were not disappointed. The recently opened Central West End establishment just added extra hours (now opening at 4:30 p.m. to bring in the happy hour crowd) and a new late-night menu, so the time was right to try a cocktail. Hoping to match the rustic, southern atmosphere, we chose the "Mississippi Punch."

See also: First Look: Juniper Serves Southern Cuisine in the Central West End (Photos)

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Water Street Cafe's "Harps of Gold" is Christmas in a Glass

        "Harps of Gold" is the real reason for the season. | Zach Garrison

The darker side of the holidays often means forced family gatherings, tedious hours spent in overcrowded shopping malls and hand-knitted sweaters. What better way to cope than a delicious cocktail? We asked Gabe Kveton, owner and drink creator at Water Street Cafe and Cocktail Bar (7268 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-646-8355) to make us a cocktail that might help boost our Christmas spirit. He obliged with the simple, yet delicious "Harps of Gold," a festive concoction that takes the edge off the holiday chaos.

See also: The Scottish Arms' "Blond Lass": Gut Check's Hump Day Cocktail Suggestion

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