Named after the talking, singing, bloodthirsty Venus flytrap character in the l986 rock musical comedy, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Matt Lahr’s Audrey II cocktail at Preservation Bar & Grill is among the award-winning bar manager’s latest hits.

Combining the sweet, oaky notes of Bols Genever gin with the intense, bittersweet cherry tang of Punt e Mes, smooth Galliano L’Autentico liqueur, Demerara sweet and sour and a dash of spicy sass from Gochujang chili syrup, the Audrey II exhibits Lahr’s “unorthodox pairings and usages of misunderstood liqueurs.”

“It’s an abomination of flavors that someone of sound mind wouldn’t put together, but it works quite well,” Lahr says.

The pipe-wielding, piano-playing raconteur bartender has been attracting loyal fans with his theatrics since Preservation (formerly Clementine’s) opened in February, complete with new chef-owners and a charming new courtyard. The locally sourced farm-to-table concept includes pickling and preserving, hand-cut steaks and creative cocktails.

“I make almost all of the components we use in house including syrups, juices and bitters, tinctures,” Lahr says. “I approach cocktail concepts from a culinary perspective. Add some showmanship and a little bravado, serve it up in an unapologetically weird manner, and that’s what the bar at Preservation is all about.”

Preservation Bar & Grill / 113 E. Main St., New Iberia. 337-256-5377.


Audrey II

Add 3-5 cucumber slices, 1 basil leaf and ½ ounce Gochujang chili syrup to shaker, and muddle together with muddler or a wooden spoon handle.

Pile 1 ounce Bols Genever, ¼ ounce Punt e Mes (Italian vermouth), ½ ounce Galliano L’Autentico (Italian liqueur) and 1 ounce Demerara sweet and sour into the shaker, add ice and shake it “like a crazy person.”

Overfill a tall Collins glass (or Lahr’s favorite, a mason jar) with crushed ice and strain the concoction onto it. Top with a few splashes of Topo Chico mineral water and garnish with a few slices of cucumber or a lime wedge or both.


Demerara cane sugar is used to make simple syrup, and infused with fresh citrus juices, rendering Demerara sweet and sour.