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    GREEN QUEEN

    Naive • The Green Queen at Naive embodies what the Butchertown eatery is all about. “Our goal is to highlight produce. We’re not a vegan or vegetarian restaurant; we just focus on vegetables,” owner Catherine Mac Dowall says. This lush green drink packs both healthy vibes and booziness. It’s made with cucumber-infused organic vodka and house-made cold-pressed juice. The mixture, from which the cocktail gets its color and name, is made from kale, cucumber, ginger, lemon, apple and honey. The drink is served in a coupe glass with a rim of raw sugar. “What’s better than getting great nutrients and having a cocktail at the same time?” Mac Dowall says.

     

     

    THE VENETIAN

    bar Vetti • It’s hard to miss the vibrant orange hue of bar Vetti’s wine-based Venetian cocktail. The classic Italian drink, also commonly called an Aperol Spritz, is a clear fit for the modern Italian dishes at this restaurant in the rebranded 800 Tower City Club Apartments, just south of Broadway downtown. Named as a nod to the Veneto region of Italy where the cocktail originated, the Venetian is a combination of Prosecco, Aperol and soda water, served in a wine glass with ice and an orange wheel. The color of the spritz comes from the Aperol, a famous Italian aperitif meant to stimulate the appetite before a meal. (The secret recipe of oranges, herbs and roots used to make Aperol dates to 1912.) Bar Vetti beverage director Emily Albert speculates the orange color comes from natural additives “to really catch the consumer’s eye.” Prosecco mixed with Aperol produces a bittersweet flavor. “Of course, it is much more than that,” Albert says. “With the many different herbs and root components, there are subtle notes of wood and vanilla, but the bright, zesty and bitter orange is what stands out.”

     

     

    MERMAID WATER

    Pearl Street Taphouse • “Everyone thinks the mermaids are because of me, but it’s Kelly who loves them,” says Teri Conn of her husband, with whom she co-owns Pearl Street Taphouse in Jeffersonville. The couple built the bar in a 129-year-old house, which they bought in 2016. “When we opened, everyone that came in just started buying us mermaid stuff. I’ve got a whole mermaid bathroom that the ladies love,” Teri says. “I guess we’re known as the mermaid bar.” The Taphouse serves food, craft beer, spirits and a themed cocktail menu, including a drink that reflects the couple’s love of mermaids. “Mermaid Water is one of our most popular ones because of the blue color and tropical flavor,” Teri says. It’s made with spiced rum, coconut rum, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, and Blue Curaçao, which gives it the ocean-blue color. Served, of course, with a novelty mermaid stir stick.

     

     

    BREW HUES

    Gravely • Infinite. That’s how many different colors you will find in beer, according to Cory Buenning, head brewer and partner at Gravely Brewing on Baxter Avenue. There are just so many styles of beer, from light-bodied lagers to malt-forward brown ales to boozy stouts. “The basic colors in beer are pale yellow, golden, amber, copper, light brown, dark brown and black, but then there are varying degrees of all of those,” Buenning says. And those colors come predominantly from one thing: malt. Malt is the result of a process of soaking barley, allowing it to germinate, and then roasting it to bring the germination to a halt. The various roasting levels contribute to the wide range of flavors, aromas and hues in beer. Buenning says Gravely’s West Coast IPA, Power Chord, derives its bright, gold hue from the light-roasted crystal malts, while the stouts get that characteristic black color from dark-roasted malts like Briess roasted barley. Buenning says he likes pale-colored lagers the best. “I’ve been working to make them lighter. I used to make them, and the yellow color was yellow, and that was fine, but now I’m working to make them lighter in color and still flavorful. It’s a challenge from a brewing perspective,” he says. 

     

     

    CHARTREUSE SWIZZLE

    Copper & Kings • What liqueur could be more mysterious than Chartreuse? This almost minty drink, made with 130 different herbs and plants, is made from a recipe dating to 1605, and the only people in the world who know it are monks in France. Only two monks at any given time know the entire recipe and oversee the production in its entirety. “It’s made by hand by sets of monks who are assigned to certain botanicals or herbs or processes, and they don’t know what the other monks are assigned to,” says Eron Plevan, beverage director at the Copper & Kings brandy distillery in Butchertown. He was introduced to Chartreuse eight years ago by Marie Zahn, former bar manager at now-closed Meat and known in the service industry as Lady Chartreuse because she adds the liqueur, which comes primarily in yellow and green varieties, to almost every cocktail. “I don’t have a favorite cocktail, but the Chartreuse Swizzle is in my top three, maybe my number one because it’s just so delicious,” Plevan says. This tiki-style drink is made with green Chartreuse, pineapple juice, lime juice and house-made falernum (spiced rum syrup). To live up to its name, all the ingredients are added to a Tom Collins-style glass with crushed ice, then “swizzled” with a bar spoon. “The Chartreuse and falernum work together to create the predominant flavor profile, and the addition of pineapple sweetens it up,” Plevan says. “The overall flavor is an herbaceous, zesty pineapple sour with ginger and clove spice.”

     

     

    PURPLE RAIN

    Safai Coffee • Delightfully fizzy and sweet, Purple Rain, at Safai on Bardstown Road, is an Italian soda beaming with a violet hue. It’s made with club soda, vanilla and lavender-flavored syrup, which gives it a purple color. Safai events coordinator Rachel Radwanski says this non-alcoholic beverage pays homage to Prince — a former employee was a huge fan.

     

     

    THE HENDERSON

    Angel's Envy • The Henderson, Angel’s Envy’s signature cocktail, is named after the bourbon distillery's founding family. “The Henderson cocktail was my entry into a brand-wide competition between all Angel’s Envy whiskey guardians (there are about 50 such brand ambassadors) to create the flagship drink for the distillery, which opened in 2016,” says the drink’s creator, Adam Ravitz. “The name was chosen to honor Lincoln Henderson and the family that keeps the distillery running. The name also has a tinge of classic cocktail tradition, which I like. It is a simple riff on an Old Fashioned that was designed to bring certain nuanced flavors found in Angel’s Envy to the foreground.” This simple but flavorful cocktail has three ingredients: Angel’s Envy bourbon, a dash of bitters and ruby port wine syrup. “Each sip is very round and full on the palate and tastes a lot like Angel’s Envy does on its own, but with slightly stronger hints of stone fruit, baking spices, orange and vanilla,” Ravitz says. The reddish hue of this cocktail, available during a tour at the Angel’s Envy distillery on East Main Street, comes from the ruby port wine syrup, a nod to the process of Angel’s Envy bourbon finishing the aging process in barrels that once contained port wine. Production manager Kyle Henderson says this is how the bourbon picks up a red tint. “The bourbon is going to absorb some of that wine color out of the wood and pick up a reddish hue you won’t see in other bourbons,” Henderson says.

     

     

    HERBS AND SPICES

    LouVino • Herbs & Spices is a play on a New York Sour, but instead of whiskey, Felicia Corbett uses a red Zinfandel at LouVino (Kentucky locations in the Highlands and Middletown). The base of the drink is the same as a New York Sour: fresh lemon juice and simple syrup. Corbett then adds St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram and red Zinfandel. “I thought it’d be fun to add some St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram because it has great fall flavors,” she says. “It’s herbaceous like bitters, but more pronounced. I took one of our Zinfandels that has more of a jam, fruit-forward flavor profile to balance out the sour aspects.” Just like the classic sour cocktail, the red wine poured over the top creates the iconic cascade of yellow into red. “It’s the perfect cocktail for cooler weather,” Corbett says.

     

    This originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Louisville SWIG. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Photos by Danny Alexander, dannyalexanderphoto.com

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    Loretta Lynn is the best country music singer of all time and if you don't like pickled foods, you can leave.

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