Dig Baton Rouge

Raise the Bar

Mouton brings exciting adult beverages to White Star Market

With Government Street’s White Star Market finally open, Baton Rouge has a great new answer to an age-old question: Where’s a good place to get a drink around here? As one of the nine gourmet food and drink installments in the Market, Mouton serves as both the literal and figurative cornerstone. After all, how can anyone begin to talk about the food scene without mentioning a good cocktail?

Mouton is a highly-innovative, highly-curated cocktail bar, and few in the Baton Rouge bar scene are as well equipped to helm it as Scott Higgins, Level-2 Sommelier and former General Manager of Blend. Higgins describes the process of creating Mouton’s menu to be as challenging as it is fun: White Star Market presents a uniquely challenging space, mirroring the high-end food courts found in foodie-meccas around the world, and each vendor must use their limited space to the best of their ability.

“Everything we have has to fit behind the bar. That includes inventory and operational space,” said Higgins. “I don’t believe in the buckshot approach. Our selection is curated—everything you see will be quality. There won’t necessarily be something for everyone.”

And that’s okay. Higgins describes the confines of his space not as a constraint, but as an opportunity to educate his guests about the spirits he and his bartenders are passionate about. Further, rather than offering typical glass or bottle wine options, Higgins opted for the unconventional. Mouton offers 6 draft wine options (four red and two white) as well as bottle-only options from boutique wineries in single, double, or triple-serving bottles.

“We want our service to match the space, and traditional bottle-service doesn’t fit the White Star atmosphere,” said Higgins.

And the White Star atmosphere isn’t one to disregard. Sharing a space with eight Louisiana superstars means innovation and originality are both a priority, and boy, does Mouton’s menu deliver. Including six Mouton-spins on classic cocktails and six originals, as well as an impressive craft beer selection, Higgins intends to rotate the menu seasonally and incorporate as many inventive, contemporary techniques as he can. The Carmen Miranda, for example, incorporates the sous-vide method to infuse bourbon, bananas, and spices to create a cocktail that requires no additional liqueurs or sweeteners.

A single look around the elegant White Star Market and its distinct cast of vendors is enough to get one’s mind racing with concepts for fusion, something Mouton has no plans of ignoring. Determined to collaborate with as many of his neighbors as possible, Higgins currently has his eyes on Rêve Stick, the third-wave coffee roaster that inhabits the opposite corner of the Market.

Photos by Sean Gasser

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