Monday, February 25, 2013


Recently, Luxe File Chicago hit Drumbar, one of the city’s most intoxicating rooftop bars, to check out the new, sexy beverage menu. Comfortably ensconced on the roof of the Raffaello Hotel, the Gold Coast hotspot features some of the most creative speak-easy style cocktails dreamed up by the brilliant Craig Schoettler, the newly minted beverage director of Drumbar.

Craig Schoettler

While sipping and snapping pics of hand-crafted cocktails with innovative titles like Smoke, A Shoe In, and Hot Chocolate (our favorite), we wondered how easy it might be to recreate these inventive concoctions at home – or would it require an MBA in advanced bartending. 

Luxe File Chicago tapped a few of the town’s top mixologists for their craftiest cocktails and the inspirations behind them. From top shelf scotch to mango sorbet, these liquid crowd-pleasers are sure to bring out your inner Sir Mix-A-Lot.  

Benjamin Augustine
Beverage Manager
Cocktail name: Blood and Sand
Inspiration: The drink was named for Rudolph Valentino's 1922 bullfighter movie, Blood and Sand, about a successful bullfighter who is destroyed by a ruinous woman. 

Augustine makes the drink his own by adding a nice blended scotch whiskey such as The Famous Grouse, to really kick it up a notch.

Blood and Sand 
1 oz Blended Scotch Whiskey
1 oz Cherry Heering (or comparable cherry brandy)
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz orange juice (preferably blood orange)

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake for ten seconds. Strain the ingredients into a cocktail coupe with no ice (shown above). Garnish with an orange wheel.

Nikki Friar
Cocktail name: Le Petite Passion
Inspiration: Friar's cocktail is an ode to sparkly people who don’t need an excuse to celebrate.

Le Petite Passion
3/4 oz Skyy Passion Fruit Vodka
4 1/2 oz Moët & Chandon Imperial Champagne
1 tsp mango sorbet
1 pineapple wedge

Pour vodka into a Champagne flute; add Champagne. Top with a teaspoon of mango sorbet and garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge.

Lynn House
Cocktail name: Pablo’s Daughter
Inspiration: House crafted this cocktail in honor of her favorite artist Pablo Picasso and his daughter, Paloma. 

Pablo’s Daughter
1 1/2 oz Arette Blanco
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz Champagne Gastrique
1 1/2 oz fresh grapefruit 
1/4 oz Bittermens celery shrub
1/2 oz Sanbitter

Combine all ingredients except Sanbitter into a shaker. Shake. Pour into a Collins glass with crushed ice and float Sanbitter on top. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

Benjamin Newby
Brand Architect
Moët Hennessy
Cocktail name: Privilege in Exile
Inspiration: Created for the House Of Hennessy Ambassador, Cyrille Gautier Auriol, and showcased at Nellcôte, the cocktail is a hark back to the classic age of cocktails and given a modern Chicago twist. 

Privilege in Exile
2 oz Hennessy Privilege V.S.O.P
1 oz honey coriander syrup
1 oz blood orange juice
1 dash of Peychaud's Bitters

In a shaker, add all ingredients and ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into Tulip glass (10 oz) or cocktail glass rimmed with blood orange juice and white sugar.

Honey Coriander Syrup 
1 cup water
1 cup honey
3 tbsps coriander seeds

In a saucepan, bring water to a simmer. Add honey, stir until dissolved. Add coriander seeds then simmer for 20 minutes. Cool and store. Strain coriander seeds after 24 hours.

Paul Sauter
Head Bartender
Double A, Mercadito Chicago & Miami
Cocktail name: Old Smashion
Inspiration: A lover of Mezcal and classic cocktails, Sauter's Old Smashion is a tribute to the Old Fashioned and its smoky, potent flavors.

Old Smashion
2 oz Mezcal
1 oz Cinzano
1/2 oz Dry Amontillado Sherry
2 dashes of whisky barrel aged bitters
7-8 dashes of Angostura bitters

Splash 7-8 dashes of Angostura bitters in a cocktail glass and coat the inside completely. Drain glass. With a flambé torch, flame the inside of the glass until warm. If you don't have a flambé torch, heat bitters in a microwave-safe bowl for 45 seconds, and follow the same process as above.

Add all ingredients to pint glass and stir. Pour into a warm cocktail glass and garnish with a lime peel (flame zest).

Photo Credit:
Nikki Friar courtesy of Jamie Berg
Privilege In Exile courtesy of
Benjamin Newby, part of Burberry's Art of the Trench campaign, courtesy of Tim Klein

Written by Sally Shorr

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