Chicago Drums up a Dreamy Destination for the SummerMay 21, 2013 By: Angela Bonnici
Seasonal summer slushies, liquid nitrogen margaritas and Moscow mules in a flask? Atop Chicago’s most popular rooftop bar? That’s what Chicago-ites and visitors to the windy city alike can look forward to this summer. All behind the impeccable direction of renowned mixologist, Craig Schoettler, who prides his work on keeping things fresh – evolving and refining the menu all summer long. Drumbar, named Chicago’s best rooftop and a top 10 Chicago bar both in Chicago Magazine for 2012, is a surreal mix of speakeasy, clubhouse and cocktail pioneer.
Photo Provided By: Blackline Productions
Besides delicious and unique cocktails, impeccable views from the 18th floor of the historic Rafeeallo Hotel of Lake Michigan and the Hancock building, and 1,500 square feet featuring built-in lounge seating, two fire pits and lush landscaping, what makes Drumbar so successful? Reputation perhaps? With a partnership with the Scotch, Malt, Whisky Society and its location perched atop this Menin Group Hotel, it’s hard to question Drumbar’s stellar status.
But Schoettler believes it’s the actual experience in person that leaves visitors compelled to come back for more. “Chicago has such an amazing food scene, which allows the bar scene to have an audience that is well educated on the craft. They want to know the story behind the cocktails or spirits, how they were made and where they came from. Barflys are becoming more like foodies.” Known for his culinary approach to cocktail making, Schoettler says he thinks of his cocktails as dishes, showcasing ingredients such as season produce and herbs, making syrups and sodas, tinctures and bitters. “Using ice as an ingredient is also very important to our cocktail program,” explains Schoettler.
The newest and “coolest” trick up Schoettler’s sleeve? Seasonal slushies exclusive to Drumbar and its slushy machine debut. The first on the menu is a mix of Bacardi 8, fresh mango, lime and chili served in a tiki glass. Fun, delicious and refreshing, all in a classy, elegant and chic atmosphere. Sounds like summer lovin’ at its finest. But Schoettler insists in not doing something just for the sake of doing it. “No matter what toys, molecular techniques, ingredients you use in a cocktail, if it doesn’t taste good, then it’s all for nothing,” Schoettler says.
How about those liquid nitrogen margaritas? Made with Espolon Tequila, Grand Marnier, Lime and then frozen with LN2, this progressive spin to the classic margarita has a sorbet-like texture, is garnished with fresh berries and served with a spoon. An impressive presentation paired with a distinct taste, all contribute to the popularity of this trend that Schoettler brings to life at Drumbar, which makes for the perfect setting for a modern twist to a traditional, authentic summer favorite.
In short, an incredible view, a luxurious space, and an ever-changing, wildly alluring cocktail list all contribute to Drumbar’s attractiveness. Not to mention the aesthetically pleasing staff and upscale crowd, which add just enough eye-candy to deem Drumbar a no-brainer nightspot in Chi-town this summer.