"First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you."
Blake Royer is a certified chef, a freelance writer, and the creative director at a social advertising agency.
Chicago is a city of rosy cheeks, twinkling eyes and the occasional nip straight from the bottle. In recent years, those tending bars around town have taken a cue from our Eastern cousin and revived the cocktail. But for all of the delightful speakeasy dens that have sprung up, we’ve found that some our best nights have featured living-room banter in good company, with a well-crafted drink in hand.
So we’ve decided to hone a repertoire of the classics: the ones a person should be able to conjure easily in the company of men, women, in-laws, bosses, or clients. We’re unabashed novices, and this is our journey.
This project lives in the tangible world. We’re much more concerned with the ringing doorbell, the ice in the shaker, the aroma and the bite, than we are with obsessing over making it look pretty for Pinterest.
We’ll gather on the regular. Some concoctions might be simple and streamlined (like the Old Fashioned, which has in recent decades been compromised by too much fruity mash); others could be re-interpreted or perfected—like adding both Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters to the Sazerac to open up the drink further.
When we settle upon the best version of a drink, we’ll provide it type-written for our fellow imbibers. With any luck, it will take us many iterations of a drink before we settle on the recipe.
Finesse, class, and plenty of arguing are our guiding principles, with a dash of re-imagination. We aim to honor the elegance of cocktail making, with respect for its exactness but its capacity for improvisation. We value exploration and mirth.
And who knows? Maybe at the end of this there might be a few hard copies of our recipes up for grabs.