Apr 8, 2014 >> Instagram Diary: Bar Crawl, Bar Brawl!
Slowly but surely it’s getting warmer. Our cabin fever has us lusting for meals al fresco and casual afternoon drinks. We’re ditching our shivering, hunched march through the city for a strolling afternoon of drinks. Here at G&F we took it upon ourselves to taste test and give you the low down on the best spots to sip back and relax. You know, just so you’re prepared for when the weather strikes gold.
G&F Creative Director Graham Kostic and Editorial Assistant,Alaina Africano go head-to-head for a bar crawl, bar brawl (say that five times fast!) featuring a cocktail showdown at four Chicago hotspots. Watch the beautiful sunset while perched up at NoMi. Get intimate and comfy at the newest Rockit Ranch spot, Bottlefork. La Sirena remains a West Loop staple with delectable eats and marvelous mixology. And we hate to play favorites, but we’re big fans of the new kids on block at Sportsman’s Club with all their taxidermy and charm. Find what cocktails we ordered at each below—along with very novice tasting notes.
ROUND ONE: NOMI
800 N Michigan Avenue
Alaina orders the Maime Taylor (above right)
Laphroaig 10yr single malt peated whisky, lime, ginger syrup, ginger beer
Tasting Notes: Lime is key! Smoky, like a BBQ in my mouth. Great for Whiskey lovers.
Graham orders the Americano Due (above left)
Hayman’s old tom gin, cocchi barolo chinato, carpano antica, club soda, orange bitters
Tasting Notes: Super smooth. Be careful because it tastes so good, after one you would be on the floor!
THE WINNER AT NOMI: AMERICANO DUE
ROUND TWO: BOTTLEFORK
441 N Clark Street
Alaina orders Big Salty Tears (above left)
Lustau Palo Cortado & East India Solera Sherries, Rittenhouse Rye, Lemon, Maple, Orange Flower Water, Egg
TN: Tastes nostalgic…a dessert memory of sorts.
Graham orders the Smoke of the Day (above right)
Whiskey, Smoke Drippings, Bartender’s Whim, with a new feature daily.
TN: S M O K Y! The giant ice cube saves the day as it melts.
THE WINNER AT BOTTLEFORK: BIG SALTY TEARS
ROUND THREE: LA SIRENA CLANDESTINA
954 W Fulton Market
Alaina orders Ousted by the Dutch (above left)
Peruvian Pisco, Jamaican Rum, Pineapple Gomme, Fresh Blood Orange
TN: A sophisticated daiquiri. Satisfies a need for a sweet drink without being “too much.” (Originally from the 1800s!)
Graham orders To Be Bitter and Twisted (above right)
Barrel Aged Cachaca, Artichoke Amaro, Mint, Cucumber, Lemon
TN: Tastes like candy—a nice break before dinner. It is apertivo hour, afterall.
THE WINNER AT LA SIRENA: OUSTED BY THE DUTCH
ROUND FOUR: SPORTSMAN’S CLUB
948 N Western Avenue
Graham and Alaina are served the Sportsman’s Cocktail (above right) and two other options to try
Sportman’s Cocktail: Luxardo Bitters, Zucca, Very Old Barton Bourbon, Angostura bitters
Graham + Alaina TN: The menu changes daily! We sampled one sour, one long drink, one stirred drink and the Sportsman’s Cocktail, which is the only static cocktail on the menu. And we couldn’t say no to a shot of the housemade Amaro, a sweet digestif.
THE WINNER AT SPORTSMAN’S CLUB: ALL OF THE ABOVE (honestly, at this point in the night, it’s a wonder at all that our photos are still in focus)