The Lift Off
The Lift Off
Photos Provided By Sardella
It’s quite clear Gerard Craft’s Sardella is a winning concept in St. Louis. Although walk-ins are accepted if you’re willing to wait for a bit, reservations are still tough to get without significant notice. So it seems almost a necessity that the restaurant would have to feature a strong cocktail menu, given the atmosphere, location and general vibe of the surrounding environment. The offerings make waiting for a table actually pleasurable, and even optional, as Sardella could stand alone as a “drinks only” stop for the evening. The cocktails are as inviting as any dish on the food menu.
The names of the drinks are conversation starters. General Manager Chris Kelling says all of the cocktails are named after Kanye West songs. Kelling says, “I just tried all the cocktails and listened to the music and tried to find a song that evoked what I got from the cocktail. “ He adds, “For example for this one [The Lift Off] it’s an aperitif-style cocktail so it’s a good starter or ‘lift-off’ to the evening.”
And it does lift your spirit into perhaps another world. The large ice chunk that floats in “The Lift Off” is a mouth-watering burst of life on a hot and humid night, also serving as a soothing sensation to ready the palette as the aperitif prepares the drinker for what’s ahead.
Sardella’s lead bartender, Phil Ingram says, “The Lion’s Tooth Dandelion liqueur has a really fragrant nose, but almost like a honey flavor to it. This is a super bright cocktail. The Contratto Aperitif is an Italian bitter liqueur with a bright tangerine note to it. We top the cocktail with dried chrysanthemum flowers. The lilac comes from a lilac tincture from Dirty Girl Farm, which ups the floral notes without adding sweetness.”
Lemon and Lilac
Sardella, Bar photo by Greg Rannells