Lake Charles sizzles in the heat of summer so it’s time for another post in the Summer Cocktail Series. At Ember Grille &Wine Bar at L’Auberge Casino Resort, bartender and Creator of Cocktails Kelly Bistok was happy to pour, shake, stir, and muddle my thirst away with two signature cocktails – the Bayou Sidecar (a twist on the classic Sidecar) and White Linen, a light and breezy gin-based drink enhanced with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and cucumber.
The Bayou Sidecar features two different Bayou Rums from Louisiana Spirits Distillery in Lacassine, La., including their latest expression, Bayou Rum Select, which is aged for a minimum of two years. “It’s a beautiful aged rum, perfect for sipping,” Kelly says.
White Linen is one of the first drinks she created many years ago. Kelly named it White Linen because it reminded her of sitting on a back porch in a rocking chair, watching the sun go down.
This creator of cocktails has participated in and won the Lake Charles’ Rock the Dock bartending challenge the past three years. Kelly’s bartending style focuses on fresh ingredients and garnishes and keeping her recipes simple. “I like to let the spirit shine through,” she says.
Ember is open daily for dinner with live entertainment Thursday through Saturday. The modern American steakhouse features the highest quality beef prepared your way and cooked to perfection over a wood-fired grill. Top quality seafood, tableside service and playful desserts round out the experience. The menu includes prix fixe meals Sunday through Friday. Guests choose an appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $40. A wine pairing is offered for an additional $10.
Speaking of wine, the list at Ember won’t disappoint. The list is constantly evolving and current features over 200 wines by the bottle and 21 wines by the glass. In addition to Ember Grille and Wine Bar, Kelly recommends L’Auberge guests try the newly renovated dining venue, Favorites Southern Kitchen. It’s open 24 hours and offers a true bistro experience.
Go visit Kelly and the staff at Ember Grille for an excellent dinner and unique cocktails. Reservations recommended by calling (337) 395-7565 or dine at the Piano Bar. Until then, try her recipes at home.
1 oz Bayou Select Rum
1 oz Bayou Satsuma Rum
1 oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
Measure all ingredients into a shaker and add ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a sugar rim.
1 ½ oz Bombay Sapphire
½ oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 oz fresh lemon juice
Handful of diced cucumbers
Dash of bitters (Angostura)
Splash of Sprite
Measure Sapphire, St. Germain, lemon juice, and cucumbers into a shaker and add ice. Shake well. Strain over fresh ice into a pilsner glass that has a cucumber ribbon garnish. Top with Sprite and bitters.