Putting the “Bar” in Barista
A local restaurant serves a slew of creative coffee-centric cocktails.
There was a time when if you were looking for a coffee cocktail, chances are you were limited to that old standby, Irish Coffee. But java-based cocktails are beginning to evolve beyond that basic shot-and-a-cup paradigm into something much more flavorful and creative. Several area eateries and watering holes are now offering sophisticated bean-based libations that take the concept to a new realm of caffeinated goodness.
But few have reached the coffee heights of the drink menu at Cyrano’s Cafe in Webster Groves. Known for decadent desserts, Cyrano’s also features an impressive slate of coffee cocktails. These libations are the creation of general manager Melissa Smith, who over a period of years has built the beverage bill of fare to include 10 custom drinks, all utilizing Metropolis coffee and premium spirits. Smith says the concept evolved pretty simply: she liked a good after-dinner cocktail as well as a hot cup of Joe (plus the restaurant had this great espresso machine), so putting her background as both a barista and a bartender to work, she started experimenting.
According to Smith, coffee makes for a great multi-dimensional cocktail, offering another level of flavor and complexity to the mix, and a multitude of flavors, from orange to vanilla to chocolate, pair perfectly with it. An extremely tasteful example is one of Smith’s most popular creations, Cafe Italiano, which features Tuaca, Amaretto and whipped cream. Smith says she’s not in a hurry to expand her coffee offerings, though recently she tasted a walnut liqueur that may make its way into a new caffeinated creation in the near future. We’ll keep you posted (603 East Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, 314.963.3232).
Photo credit: Photos by Jonathan Pollack