Craft Beer + Craft Liqueur = Craft Cocktails

Photo by Sonya Lalla at
Photo by Sonya Lalla at

Caft beer and craft spirits are definitely part of the same movement. The innovations of Gabe Kveton (B.A. ’04) are prime examples.

Kveton is owner of Water Street, a contemporary American restaurant in Maplewood, an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis.

Kveton also is a mixologist. His cocktail repertoire includes Schlafly Pale Ale with fig vinegar from a neighborhood shop, an unlikely but lively combination.

“There’s such a growing variety of craft beers that it’s interesting to see what people can come up with on their own,” Kveton said.

Kveton’s creativity was in full bloom last year when he, his sister, Maria, and their friend, Bethany Holohan, innovated Lion’s Tooth, a dandelion liqueur. Distribution is available in some cities in Missouri and growing.

Kveton was inspired when he visited his grandmother’s house in St. Louis and came across his great uncle’s 1930s recipe for dandelion wine.

“Apparently it was common back then like bathtub gin,” Kveton says. “We liked the dandelion-flavor idea. We hadn’t heard of that before. We played around with that.”

Lion’s Tooth is made from Chambourcin grapes grown in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, and dandelion roots. The brandy-based liqueur has taste notes of honey and citrus.

Kveton’s UMKC education in environmental studies is tied to his desire to source Lion’s Tooth as locally as possible. Even bottles and labels are produced in Missouri.

Kveton conceives Lion’s Tooth cocktails — including ones with beer.

“Lion’s Tooth gives a certain extra richness to beer,” Kveton said. “And it adds an earthy aroma.”

A beer cocktail recipe

The Lion Tamer

1 ½ ounces Lion’s Tooth

½ bourbon

Splash of simple syrup (see note)

1 slice lemon

Shake all ingredients. Strain over rocks glass with ice.

Top with 4 Hands Single Speed Session (or another light beer)

Note: To make simple syrup, combine equal parts by weight sugar and water in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature.


Craft Beer Food Pairings

Amber Lager &
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

India Pale Ale &
Carrot Cake

Oatmeal Stout &
Chocolate Chip Cookie

Pale Ale &

Pilsener &
Green Salad

Porter &

American Wheat Ale &

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