Classic Novels Inspire Classic Cocktails in Chicago
Whether you are a fan of the adventurous, care-free character Huckleberry Finn or find parallels in J.D Salinger’s classic novel about teenage angst and alienation, we have you covered with our new page-turning program of classic cocktails with a spring twist at ETA Restaurant + Bar at Loews Chicago.
If you have visited our hotel bar, you know we are a fan of playful puns in cocktail names. This spring, we’re taking inspiration from some of our favorite novels and putting a seasonal twist on some classic cocktails that we all know and love. The seasonal ingredients provide notes of spring including rose, violet, and beet. From floral to smoky, there is something for every palate.
Now, I’m a self-proclaimed “wine snob”, however I do enjoy a well-made cocktail when the mood strikes. In general, I tend to choose the “safe” drinks, those whose ingredients look familiar, so I don’t have to whip out my phone and ask the inter-webs what each ingredient really is before ordering it. At ETA Restaurant +Bar, we kept that in mind when creating the spring menu, and stuck to the liquor that people know, like Tito’s®, Tanqueray®, Meyers Rum®, and Vida Mescal®, to name a few. Familiarity also comes in the form of the final products being reminiscent of classic, beloved American novels.
“Two of our customer’s favorites include The Secret Garden and the Catcher in the RYE,” says Lesley Gehring, Assistant Director of Food and Beverage. Here’s what you can expect from these two drinks:
The Secret Garden
Made with: Kappa Pisco, rose liqueur, simple syrup, fresh lemon, egg white, Angostura bitters swirl
“The Pisco Sour is one of our best-selling cocktails,” says Lesley. “We wanted to give it a spring twist, so we replaced the traditional lemon with lime to give it a brighter flavor. We also added rose liqueur to add a floral note. This is a very well-balanced cocktail with a flavorful depth, but it also allows the flavors to complement each other without being overpowering.”
“We are already hearing from guests who tell us they love this twist on the traditional Pisco Sour. It’s subtle, refreshing and bright—perfect for spring.”
Catcher in the RYE
Made with: Rittenhouse Rye, beet syrup, lemon, Angostura bitters, ginger ale
“’The Catcher in the RYE’ was a fun one for our team to create,” says Lesley. “Beets have an earthy flavor, but can also play to the sweet side. This cocktail brings out both flavor profiles. The Rye brings out the sweetness of the beets and the beet brings out the earthiness in the rye. While this is also a very well balanced cocktail, it has a subtle complexity to it that is bright and fun for spring.”
“Our guests are often surprised to see more non-traditional ingredients in cocktails such as beets — it can seem a bit more unusual than, say, orange or berries. But once they try it, they seem to love the touch of earthiness and splash of sweetness.”
What will your favorite flavor (and book) be? Be sure to swing by ETA Restaurant + Bar and let us know.
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