Pierpont’s at Union Station, Kansas City

There is a Union Station¹ in Kansas City, that like all Union Stations became rundown in the late ’60s/early ’70s, sat dormant, then was renovated in the ’90s/’00s, and is now a tourist trap (a model railroad, a museum of illusions, a planetarium, and of course a food court). It interested me because it was the site of the Kansas City Massacre and because it enabled me to get my 11,000 steps/day in its spacious interior while avoiding the 8° F weather outside.

One day my wife accompanied me on my daily constitutional and at about step 4,500, she became parched and decided we needed to hydrate at the bar at Pierpont’s at Union Station. The place is named for John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan who was a railroad baron at the turn of the last century (though he appears to have a marginal connection to the railroads that ran through the Union Station in Kansas City).

I ordered a Pendergast Manhattan on the rocks which consisted of J Rieger KC Whiskey, Dolin Vermouth and Bénédictine liquor topped by a spiral of lemon peel. The J Rieger is not bourbon as it contains a little sherry in it to rectify² the 92 proof whiskey. That, the fact it contains Bénédictine (which is not a normal ingredient of a Flackhattan) and the lack of bitters, really put a mellow touch on the whole affair. Maybe too mellow as I generally want my Flackhattan to have a little more zip. The bartender though did give me a heavy pour, which had a way of assuaging any doubts I may have had.

Besides making a solid Flackhattan, this place has an extensive collection of whiskey and other liquors that are stored on a series of glass shelves that require a library ladder to access. This combined with some historic architecture, and a beautiful bar added to the ambiance, making my drink taste that much better.

The Flackhattan in Question

¹ The Union Stations that are ubiquitous to cities throughout the U.S. are not named after the Union Pacific Railroad as I had previously thought, but are names given to railway stations at which the tracks and facilities are shared by two or more separate railway companies, allowing passengers to connect conveniently between them.

² Technically speaking, rectifying a spirit is the process of redistilling whiskey to remove impurities. Rectify can also mean “to fix or correct”. In this case J Rieger adds a small amount of 15 year old Oloroso Sherry³ to its blend of 4 year old Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Light Corn Whiskey, and Straight Rye Whiskey.

³ Sherry (Spanish: Jerez) is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the city of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain. Sherry is an appellation and therefore must be made in a specific geographic region in Spain using a specific process (all of which is enshrined in Spanish and EU law).

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