Bars and restaurants around the country are ringing the changes through their fall beverage menus, whether with seasonal produce, new concepts or simply adjustments at the edges. This week, we’ll look at what’s changing in New York and Chicago.
Joaquin Simo of Pouring Ribbons Labu Kelapa Cocktail
Just in time for October’s National Apple Month, Chicago’s Sable Kitchen & Bar has added three cocktails made with apple brandies, from Rhine Hall – a family-run distillery in Chicago that uses only apples picked from the Great Lakes region – and Busnel Calvados, a major distiller of Normandy’s apple brandy. Close Loop, crafted by barman Josh Relkin, mixes Rhine Hall brandy with the French orange bitter liqueur China-China. He also developed Armageddon’s Light, made with Busnel Calvados, Caorunn gin, raspberry syrup, lemon and egg white. Mony Bunni pitched in with The New Death - vodka, Rhine Hall, lemon, honey syrup and cherry bark vanilla bitters.
Meanwhile, impending colder weather hasn’t kept a new operation from offering ice cream for adults: Pavilion at The Langham in Chicago announces the launch of its new adult ice cream concept, Parlour at the Pavilion. Pavilion presents an extravagant line-up of sundaes and floats from executive pastry Chef Scott Green. Parlour at the Pavilion emulates a vintage-style ice cream parlor with a whimsical staff wearing retro-style uniforms, select homemade ice cream and sorbet flavors. Selections include: the Aviator (gin, crème de violette, maraschino, lemon sorbet, burgundy cherry ice cream, violet ice cream, candied violet petals, amarena cherries, candied lemon peel, and whipped cream), the Manhattan (cherry cola, bourbon, bourbon caramel ice cream, burgundy cherry ice cream, toasted almonds, amarena cherries, cherry sauce, and whipped cream) and the Napoli (limoncello, San Pellegrino Limonata, lemon sorbet, lemon ice cream, vanilla ice cream, lemon paté de fruit, crème anglaise, and whipped cream).
In New York, the just opened The Wayfarer is called a classic American grill within the Quin Hotel. The beverage program created by Christian Sanders boasts specialty cocktails made with seasonal ingredients: the Sexy Beest (Bombay Sapphire Gin, Benedictine, cardamom infused honey, yuzu, allspice dram and ginger), the Scottish Samurai (Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whiskey, cucumber, Japanese mint, cinnamon agave, lime and grapefruit bitters), and the restaurant’s namesake, The Wayfarer Cocktail, (ZU Bison Grass Vodka, agave, lime, baked apple bitters, celery bitters and black cardamom.)
Far downtown, replacing the late disco era cocktail joint Golden Cadillac is the latest venture of drink book and gear impresario Greg Boehm and friends (including bartenders Erick Castro and Don Lee) with Boilermaker, which menus a variety of shots with beers - for example, the All-American – Miller High Life & Ancient Age 80 Proof Bourbon; Machete In Space – Tecate & Cabeza Blanco Tequila; and the National Anthem – Brooklyn Lager & Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon.
Also in the mix - draft cocktails, including currently, the Five String Banjo (bourbon and vanilla cream soda) and Uncle Jalapeno (blanco tequila, jalapeno and pineapple soda). Perhaps most interesting of the other drinks on the menu is La Piña Verde, which introduces the herbal snap of Green Chartreuse to the tropical flavors of fresh lime and pineapple juices and coconut cream.
Finally, at Pouring Ribbons in Manhattan, Joaquin Simo’s new menu includes a nod to autumn via pumpkin puree, but not in the usual pumpkin pie style of cocktail so frequently found. He’s spiced up the puree with star anise, peppercorns, fennel, coriander, cardamom, mellows it with some coconut cream, brightens it with lemon and orange juices, follows with gin and then Batavia arrack for some funk, the result being the Labu Kelapa. He’s also got a cider enhanced drink - the French Creek Fizz, made with applejack, lemon juice, hard cider, maple syrup and root beer bitters.