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Defender Picks


Cocktail of the Week: Sylvain: The 'Dutch Afro'

By Laine Kaplan-Levenson

FRENCH QUARTER - A mere block from the historic St. Louis Cathedral rests one of the newest cracks at contemporary cuisine to grace the downtown scene. Named after Andre Getry and Jean-Francois-Marmontel’s 1796 one-act comic opera, Sean McCusker's Sylvain (a NoDef Nodder) takes a modern culinary approach that has been luring locals into the heart of the Quarter for nightly dinners and weekend brunch since it's opening on 10/10/10. 

The management prides itself on the bustling, ‘loud’ environment that keeps this a lively and fun dining destination. As this week's cocktail shows, the loose atmosphere leaves room for creativity, and you're even allowed to laugh.


Sylvain can serve up the classics as well as the next NOLA nook, but has specialty favorites like the Aviation (Aviation Gin, Luxardo Maraschino liquer, Lemon, Creme de Violette) and today’s ‘Dutch Afro’. Head bartender and manager of Sylvain Murf named this drink after its prime ingredient, the malt-wine based Dutch spirit Bols Genever, and the hairstyle that he loves but will never have (see video). "The craft of cocktails was made and perfected here in this country," Murf explains, as he arranges his materials on the bar. "The interesting thing behind making craft cocktails is you see how America connects."


Because of its sweet and sour components, Murf suggests pairing the drink with the Crispy Pork Shoulder with sautéed spinach and pickled watermelon relish as a dinner entree, and fried egg with roasted tomato hollandaise as a brunch item.


Watch and learn:



*Wait! Check out our other Cocktails of the Week from Lost Love Lounge,Whiskey BlueSt. Marie, and Ian Hoch's Kitchen!



-       ¾ oz Aperol (Apertico Liqueur)

-       ¾ oz Bols Genever (malt-wine based Dutch spirit)

-       ¾ oz Carpano Antigua (fortified wine, vermouth)

-       2 drops Regan’s Orange Bitters

-       Fernet Branca Liquor

-       Grapefruit peel

-       Ice



-Stirring Glass


-Rocks glass



1)    Rinse glass with a Fernet Branco wash (to coat the glass)

2)    Add spirits, followed by bitters, and then ice

3)    Pour into an empty rocks glass

4)    Garnish with a freshly peeled grapefruit rind.


Sylvain is located at 625 Chartres, and is open from 5:30pm-11pm Mon-Thurs, and 11:30am-2:30pm, and again from 5:30-Midnight Fri-Sun (the bar happily stays open later, long as people are still thirsty).

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