Bon Temps Grill’s Empress Mule surpasses its midcentury origins with shifting hues that mesmerize
Mixologists find it easy to fall in love with Empress 1908 gin derived from butterfly pea blossoms that give the libation its natural indigo color. Handcrafted in small-batch copper pot stills, its exquisite taste, regal look and delicate aroma make for a remarkable presentation.
Shortly after Bon Temps Grill’s proprietors, Steven and Patrick O’Bryan, moved their popular Cajun haven to the new (former Blue Dog Café) location in November, bar manager and live music coordinator Amy Dillard debuted the Empress Mule made with Empress 1908 gin.
A fresh take on the original 1941 Moscow Mule classic, the Empress Mule renders a fragrant new aesthetic distinguished by a haze of changing purple hues. Depending on how much citrus (acid) or fizz one adds, the cocktail will change from blue to purple and vibrant shades of magenta. Overall, it’s a rich, sensory experience but at its core, the Empress Mule is deceptively simple and incredibly easy to mix.
“It has light and refreshing floral tones with hints of juniper and citrus, and the butterfly tea blossoms give it a deep indigo color that will change the cocktail to light lilac or pink, depending on the amount of citrus added,” says Dillard.
Extensive renovations of the new space include a new entrance leading to brighter colors and rustic wood artwork by Rodney Lewis in the main dining room, an alligator-skin booth and decanter pendant lighting in the bar and a breezy courtyard.
“We’ve tripled our seating from 75 to 300,” says Dillard. “We’ve rearranged where the bands used to play. It’s now a corner-style stage, which allows for more seating in the bar. Our patio is covered and we have a new party room.”
It’s is a big draw on weekends, when the brunch crowd shows up to enjoy fresh air and cooling cocktails, abundant local beers and generous portions of opulent “swamp-edge cuisine.” A relaxing place to chill for Cajun foodies with spring fever. ■
Bon Temps Grill
1211 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette
337-706-8850 / bontempsgrill.com
Add 1.5 ounces Empress 1908 gin, .75 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice and .75 ounces simple syrup to shaker. Top with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice. Top with splash of ginger beer and garnish with mint bouquet (optional: lime wheels, cucumber slices).