There’s a new cocktail menu at the Las Palmas in Chicago’s Wicker Park, with headliner the top shelf Tongolele (a tableside-prepped concoction of Chinaco Negro Extra Añejo, Grand Marnier Cent Cinquantenaire, fresh-squeezed lime juice, sea salt and organic agave nectar). Also new: the Pikete (Leblon cachaça, pineapple juice, fresh-squeezed lime juice, organic agave nectar and jalapeño), the Fresca (Sauza Hornitos reposado, fresh lime juice, Gran Gala and West Indian orange bitters), a Green Tea Mojito (Xtabetum, Zen green tea liqueur, muddled mint and fresh-squeezed lime juice with a splash of club soda). Some signature drinks from the previous menu made it to the new one, including the Jarochita (vanilla bean- and pineapple-infused tequila with fresh pineapple juice and rum) and the Pepinada, a cucumber-lime Margarita. Co-owner Marcos Rivera Jr. is in charge of the drinks.
In Washington, D.C., Beverage Director Jill Zimorski and the team at Café Atlántico (beverage manager Jen Fitzsimmons and mixologist Owen Thomson) have revamped the cocktail menu at chef Jose Andres’ place. New creations include the Old Man & The Sea, (hibiscus-infused rum, lime juice and simple syrup served with hibiscus air), the Spicy Dove (tequila, house-made grapefruit cinnamon soda and lime) and the Lucky Penny (Spanish brandy, maraschino liquor, lime juice and cherry bitters). Seasonal specials include a frozen Piragua and the featured “Farm to Glass Cocktail,” created using ingredients collected from the weekly nearby farmer’s market. Recent Piraguas include Gooseberry with Asian Five Spice and Cherry Orange Blossom. The team’s recent Farm to Glass cocktails, sold on weekends only, included the Prickly Morning (Sauza silver tequila, Cocchi Americano, cactus juice, aji syrup and pineapple juice) and the Four and Twenty Blackbirds (blackberries, sage, gin and lemon).
Opening in Santa Monica, Richard Sandoval’s La Sandia offers approachable modern Mexican cuisine paired with an extensive tequila library. Cocktails include Mezcal con Pepino with cucumber, chile serrano, lime and chile pequin salt, and Horchata Blanco with reposado tequila and horchata, the milky almond and seed refresher.
In NYC, Todd English just opened Ça Va in the new InterContinental New York Times Square with cocktails from Southern Wine and Spirits’ head mixologist Francesco Lafranconi. Drinks with a dash of French flair include L’Absinthe, a mix of pear-flavored vodka, limoncello and Pernod Absinthe blended with fresh house-made sweet ’n’ sour mix and fresh basil.