ORIGINAL SPIRITS: SIN IN SIOUX CITY Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Well after the birth of original sin, but long before the idea of pumping plenty of blood and money into the soon-to-be-beating heart of what would in the not-too-distant future become the city of Las Vegas was born, much of the Unites States was but a vast plain just waiting to be crissed and crossed.

It was at this time that the titans of regional industries realized that if they banded together and brought by rail the recently and vastly improved locomotives to their towns, they could move their goods not only beyond their state’s borders, but past borders beyond oceans.

And if you wanted a railroad, all you did was throw some free land at the railroad companies who would then build their tracks through your town.

But to build a railroad you needed men, and men, when the day was done, needed to unwind. And that’s where the saloons sprung up. And the brothels.

But once the tracks were laid, the sinning, as it were, came to end (or at least the unapologetic public spectacle of it).

And thus was born the myth of the taming of the once Wild West.

In a playful homage to that time and (and to the pioneer-inspired bottlers of Sioux City Sarsaparilla), we present Sin in Sioux City, the newest of our signature cocktails that feature our housemade soda-jerk sodas.

To make our Sarsaparilla, we combine with water white and brown sugars, star anise, licorice sticks, wintergreen, salt and juniper berries, all of which is then simmered, twice strained and cooled before it finds its way to your glass.

To this we then mix in St-Rémy VSOP, a French brandy, and Punt e Mes, a dark and bitter Italian vermouth.

To add a little dramatic flare, we spice up this visually dark drink by taking the rind of an orange and flaming it, which in a flash, briefly alights the rind’s essence as it scatters, invisibly, into your drink.

And there you have it, a new cocktail for a new century: imaginative, magical and mythic.

Hyperbole? Perhaps. Hubris? Maybe. But there’s only one way to find out, and that’s to belly up and taste one for yourself.

Have at it, pardners.