Destination: The Whiskey Ring

By Molly Rippinger
In Food
Image courtesy of The Whiskey Bar

Image courtesy of The Whiskey Ring

Situated between a string of various hipster hangouts, such as Melt and Foam, The Whiskey Ring brings yet another trendy concept to the up-and-coming Cherokee neighborhood of South City.

Considering the impressive number of whiskey bars that have popped up across St. Louis in recent months, it made perfect sense for owners John Joern and Jason Matthews to try out the concept for themselves. After a gentle nudge from the owners of Fortune Teller Bar just a few doors down, Joern and Matthews were convinced that the abandoned space on the corner of Ohio Avenue and Cherokee Street would be an ideal setup for a whiskey bar.

Significant renovations were required to make The Whiskey Ring come to life by its Dec. 13 opening. Almost single-handedly, the owners gutted the interior and installed new wood floors along with a custom steel-top bar. They utilized reclaimed materials wherever possible, such as the chairs they were able to snag from the old Becky Thatcher riverboat or the wooden rafters from an old Central West End building they revamped into tables. The hard work certainly paid off because The Whiskey Ring now offers a warm, welcoming interior.

Behind the bar there are over 50 bottles of whiskey that include various bourbons, ryes, scotches and malts. While that collection might seem somewhat intimidating to the novice whiskey drinker, the cocktail menu filled with prohibition era classics can be a useful tool to finding a delicious drink for only $6-$10 . The “Kentucky Mule” might be a good gateway into the world of whiskey, mixing bourbon and Goslings ginger beer for a fairly sweet and bubbly cocktail.

Those looking for a traditional whiskey libation should go for the “Whiskey Ring Manhattan” that begins with James E. Pepper 1776 Rye and adds a dash of Fernet-Branca bitters along with a little sweet vermouth to round it all out.

A seasonal sipper would be “The Stockton Pride” that nods to the black walnut capital of the nation located in Missouri. This cocktail walks the line between sweet and smokey by mixing bourbon and spiced rum with a few dashes of applejack and black walnut bitters. The Whiskey Ring also offers local brews from Schlafly, 4 Hands and The Civil Life on draft.

Currently, The Whiskey Ring does not serve food, but there have been discussions about a possible delivery service with local Cherokee restaurants. Open Monday through Saturday from 4pm to 1am and Sundays from 4pm to 12am. 2651 Cherokee St., Cherokee, 314.769.7249.

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