Welcome to my first blog post for Chicago Cocktail Chronicles! The purpose of this blog is to highlight the excellent bartenders and the bars/restaurants they work in here in Chicago. Each week (or every other week), I hope to profile a different bartender making a drink that is on their current menu. We have so much talent in the city, I am excited to see what they will be making for us.
There is something that has drawn me into what these folks are doing on a nightly basis (and no, it isn't just the alcohol that they are putting in their drinks). Bartenders are usually the first face you see when you walk into a bar or restaurant. They can help to set the stage for your meal later or they supply the libations for just a great evening out with friends. Many a great night started with the friendly face at the bar ready to take your order.
Every one of the bartenders that I have met in the city have been extremely friendly and have taken the time to explain what they are doing or make me a drink based a taste I want or a specific liquor.
Mike Ryan, the subject of our first installment, is just that type of bartender. Mike always takes the time to be there for every guest. He is incredible to watch as he plows through the mountain of drink orders on a Friday or Saturday night and still have a conversation with you. Mike has a passion for drink-making that I think is nicely captured in this video of him demonstrating "The Power of Love" off his current menu. It's a wonderful blend of lemon, ginger, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth and Buffalo Trace Bourbon. If you go to Sable, make sure you try one.
If you are a bartender and would like to have me film you making a cocktail you have on your menu, please send me an email at email@example.com or contact me on Twitter at Chi_Cocktails.
I want to thank a few people for offering me their support or expertise in how to put this together. Specifically, I would like to say thanks to Mike Ryan, Josh Pearson and Lauren Viera for offering me a few suggestions and support on what I should do with these videos. Michael Gebert from skyfullofbacon.com and Chicago Reader offered invaluable expertise on camera/audio set up. Hopefully, he thinks I did a decent job.
Lastly, I would like to thank one of my all time favorite bands, The Trashcan Sinatras, for letting me use their music in this video. The goal was to have Chicago bands be the background music to these videos, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use the Trashcan's music when I got their permission.
I hope everyone enjoys the video. If you have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to contact me.