It's not on the menu, but Sainte Marie's Thomas Schachte creates a new soda every week, flavor-based on the fresh produce coming into the kitchen.
"It started as a way to add a drink for lunch that's craft-oriented but not alcoholic," says Thomas. When he serves it that way, he starts with a housemade syrup and charges it with soda water.
Consider, though, making it the lengthener for a custom-built cocktail.
For instance, his satsuma-pink peppercorn-mint soda (from earlier this winter) might have been nice with a sweet, rounded Old Tom-style gin.
Another satsuma soda (this with ginger simple syrup, cardamom, lemon) sounds like it would have been a good mixer for bourbon.
On a recent visit I tried Thomas's gorgeous shake of fresh grapefruit juice, cilantro and pink peppercorn simple syrup.
You can drink it straight; I took mine with an ounce of tequila blanco (for celeb watchers, it's George Clooney's brand) and one-third ounce Curaçao, which showcased the soft, rich and earthy cilantro.
This particular spiked soda has been so popular, in fact, that it'll land on the new drinks list in March, says bar manager Chris Arenas.
Sainte Marie, 930 Poydras, 304.6988. Also look for sodas hand-crafted by Sainte Marie bartenders Brook Chisholm and Taylor McLellan, and check out Chris's Valentine's Day cocktail, a lush match of brandy and red wine syrup, topped with prosecco.
Happy hour specials include $5 Chartreuse shots and, on Mondays, $6 select cocktails. (Happy hour runs Monday - Saturday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
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