Summer-themed drinks are usually thought of as anything ice-cold, refreshing and resulting in beads of condensation. Can a drink be considered ideal for summer if it’s served with a mini whipped cream cone? What about if that same drink is served in a dimly lit cocktail lounge that rarely sees the light of day? My vote is yes.
The Rendezvous cocktail at Voo Lounge, in the historic Hotel Muehlebach building off Baltimore Avenue, combines Rieger gin, lime juice, blueberry syrup and Luxardo maraschino liqueur, creating a bright-pink hue. A small clothesline pin clamps down on the rim of the glass, and a paper carrier holds the tiniest waffle cream cone filled with a house-made blueberry foam. In all my searching through a thesaurus, “cute” is the word that best captures the essence of this garnish.
For this particular drink, beverage director Allison Korn, who created the entire cocktail menu at Voo, was inspired by the lounge’s previous name in the forties, The Rendezvous. Ryan Maybee, owner of whiskey distillery J. Rieger and Co., showed Korn an old cocktail book that had a recipe from the original bar. The recipe had the basic elements of gin and Luxardo, and she gave it a glow-up from there.
She recommends sandwiching bites of the whipped cream cone between sips to experience an extra depth and mouthfeel to the blueberry flavor.
“Take a sip, and then take a bite, and then take a sip,” Korn says. “It adds a real aromatic moment to it as well.”
Although the cocktail is a menu staple, the produce infused in the drink and foam whip changes seasonally. Lavish cocktail garnishes are a hot trend right now, and this is one I will be following gladly.