A month after Kimberly Patton-Bragg introduced a new bar menu at Three Muses (536 Frenchmen St., 504-252-4801; www.thethreemuses.com), the small-plates supper club invited her to become its front-of-house and bar manager. June 7 will be her last day at Tivoli & Lee (936 St. Charles Ave., 504-962-0909; www.tivoliandlee.com), where she refined the whiskey-based cocktail list.
Patton-Bragg and Three Muses chef Dan Esses first worked together on his pop-up dinners years ago.
"He asked me to rev up their cocktail menu at Three Muses," Patton-Bragg says. "I want to design cocktails inspired by the music. We'll have the best drinks on Frenchmen Street."
She created a seven-drink menu that's approachable and elegant. It's also built for speed, and none has more than five ingredients. "You can make a beautiful drink that takes the same amount of time as making a Cosmo," she says.
Patton-Bragg draws on her experience working at New York City's Jazz Standard, another music club.
"I'm respectful of the artists up there," she said. "No hard shaking while they're performing."
Patton-Bragg's new list spans the spirits and includes the playful, creative infusions for which she's known: blueberry-and sage-touched vodka, a pineapple-lemon grass sweetener for her daiquiri and the concoction that started it all, the Spaghetti Western. It's the first one she created for Esses years ago, and it's a drink I thoroughly enjoyed the night I was there: Campari-soaked orange wedges and a rye-heavy bourbon made for a rich, roasted-citrus sipper.
Also on the Three Muses menu is hibiscus-infused tequila paired with vermouth and grapefruit bitters.
It's a hint of the next project on Patton-Bragg's horizon: a rollicking cantina called Damiana, which will showcase her love of tequila and mezcal. She also will write another Three Muses menu in late summer that will work with a new bar and redesign of the bar's floor layout. — ANNE BERRY