Customers belly up to the 1890s tiger oak bar, gaze at Clementine Hunter’s soulful self-portrait, sip martinis, mules and margaritas, and then “cut da rug” at Clementine on Main, which reopened under new owners with live music, new chefs and craft cocktails. It’s Saturday night, and the place is jumping.
We feast on dark-roux gumbo, juicy char-grilled filets dripping with whipped herb butter and fluffy bourbon-laced bread pudding by co-owner Jennifer Dold after strong libations by veteran mixologist and manager, Kyle Gonzales. He takes a chef-driven, seasonal approach with his craft cocktail creations.
Most recently, it’s the new Sugarcane Apple Mule, laced with holiday pie spices and Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup, inspired by New Iberia’s festival and the October through December sugarcane harvest.
A riff on the Moscow Mule (vodka, lime, ginger beer), it starts sweet with a tart undertone, and finishes slightly spicy with a tingle.
“The Moscow Mule is one of the most popular cocktails in the mixology world right now, so we decided to create New Iberia’s very own version,” says Gonzales. “Our sugarcane history dates back to the 1750s, and it seemed only right to incorporate Steen’s [100% Pure] Cane Syrup to add a unique flavor. The apples and pie spice inspire the holiday season.”
MAKE IT AT HOME
Sugarcane Apple Mule
Mule, also called a buck, is a name for a family of historical mixed drinks that involve ginger ale or ginger beer, citrus juice and any of a number of base liquors.
In a cocktail shaker add 4 slices Granny Smith apple, 1 tablespoon homemade apple butter, and 1 ounce Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup then muddle together.
Add 2 ounces apple cider and a scoop of ice in the same shaker, then shake for 10 seconds. Strain the mixture from the shaker into a copper mule cup.
Add 1 pinch pie spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice), 1 ounce Tuaca (caramel and citrus liqueur) and 1½ ounces J.T. Meleck Vodka to the cup. Fill the cup with regular cubed ice. Top with 2 ounces ginger beer.
Add 2 apple slices, 1 pinch of pie spice on the apples and 1 sugarcane spear as garnish.
Clementine on Main:113 E. Main St., New Iberia