Savor the Flavor

Cocktails1

From crafting salty to frothy cocktails, Chicago mixologists get creative with their shakers.

With the brutal winter we just had, a comfort-food-like cocktail sounds like a good idea. While we’d love to sip a fruity drink under sunny skies, these full-flavored libations will put you in a warm, relaxed state of mind. Here are some of the more unique cocktails served around Chicago…

JIMMY Chicago | Dirty Little Secret
Visit the 1970s glam, Vegas-style lounge inside the James Hotel for Jimmy’s signature cocktail (pictured right). The secret? Steak sauce! Odd, but bar manager Craig Hiljus assures, “If you drink a dirty martini, you’ll like this one. We use less than a thimble full of the steak sauce, but it adds so much to the already salty flavor from the celery bitters and olive brine.” 610 North Rush Street, www.jimmychicago.com

Vincent | Dutch Courage
Courage is something you may need to try this unique drink, which isn’t a cocktail but a shot followed by salty pickled herring and a pickle. It’s like a tequila shot but features Jenever, a Dutch gin with malt and juniper. “We created this drink for two reasons,” says owner Mike Bransford. “Our first chef was Dutch, and they love their pickled herring in Holland. We have a unique tulip glass for the gin, as tulips are everywhere in Holland. People constantly take pictures of this drink.” 1475 West Balmoral Avenue, www.vincentchicago.com

Sable's Power of Love

Sable’s Power of Love

Tapas Valencia | Spice and Ice
Nothing says Spanish refreshment like an ice-cold, freshly muddled mojito. But kick it up a notch and wow! That’s what general manager Julio Rodriguez and his team did by adding jalapeño and cucumber with blended cilantro and muddled lime to provide a bright green hue. “It’s our signature drink; we’ve had it for about three years now,” he explains. “A mixologist and I kept playing around with spices until we reached this combination of subtle heat followed by the cooling refreshment of the cucumbers and mint.” 1530 South State Street, www.tapasvalencia.com

Sable Kitchen and Bar | The Easy Street & Power of Love
“The Easy Street is unique,” says manager Julio Muñoz. “It uses our house-made honey pepper bourbon blend, creating that sweet and savory taste. Then it’s mixed with egg white, which gives the drink a thick, smooth texture.” The egg white is shaken dry (no ice) with the liquor, which has an alcohol content of at least 40 percent to kill off any bacteria. The Power of Love is another egg white cocktail “made with bourbon, vermouth, ginger and lemon, in addition to the egg,” details Mr. Muñoz. You’d think a savory bourbon drink would be more popular with men, but Mr. Muñoz insists women can’t resist the Power of Love. 505 North State Street, www.sablechicago.com

Hannah_Kohut

About Hannah Kohut

True to her southern roots, Hannah Kohut can sit and talk to people for hours, learning their stories and bringing their successes to the spotlight. As a freelance news reporter and writer in the greater Chicago area, Ms. Kohut brings attention to some of the city's most inspiring individuals who overcome insurmountable odds and exceed their own dreams. She is a strong advocate for animal rights and U.S. military veterans, collecting as many stories she can about their pasts. While not interviewing or searching for her next inspirational subject, Ms. Kohut is busy reading the entire Anne Rice collection or picking out that next amazing shade of pink lipstick. She is also borderline obsessed with costume jewelry, heels and anything black.