Bar Talk: Belle Tavern

By Published: November 09, 2018 5:30 PM CT

Belle Tavern owner/bartender Chris Ferri has a nice list of cocktails at the ready, but when I walked in last week and saw cherries marinating, bottles of syrups on one counter, a nice collection of bitters on another and a wall full of spirits, I was moved to request an on-the-spot cocktail.

I asked for a drink made with rye with hints of root beer. It's fall, after all, and it seemed fitting. Ferri tinkered a bit, then he hit it.

If you want to give it a try, visit him and ask for a Bar Talk. As you're not likely to have cola syrup at home, this recipe won't be quite the same but it'll be close.


Bar Talk by Chris Ferri


2 ounces rye (Ferri used Rittenhouse)

1 full dropper sassafras bitters (it'll take two squeezes to get a full dropper)

Squeeze lemon juice

1 1/2 ounces cola

1 ounce black lager 

Lemon twist


Shake rye, bitters and lemon juice. (or stir in bar glass). Pour over ice, add cola, top with lager and give it a quick stir. Garnish with lemon twist. Serves 1.

Belle Tavern is at 117 Barboro Alley, or you can walk through 117 Prime at 117 Union. It's open 4 p.m.-1 pm Monday through Saturday and noon-10 p.m. on Sunday. Call 901-249-6580.


Bar Talk Chris Ferri Belle Tavern
Jennifer Biggs

Jennifer Biggs

Jennifer Biggs is a native Memphian and veteran food writer and journalist who covers all things food, dining and spirits related for The Daily Memphian.

Comment On This Story

Section Emails

Sign up to get the latest articles from the Food section.