Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Adventures at Bar DeVille and More Malört

A few weeks ago, we stopped in at Bar DeVille (701 N. Damen in Chicago) on a Sunday evening, and I am terribly delinquent in writing about it.

We'd heard about this new bar several times, and knew our friend Brad Bolt was running the show there, so we were happy to get a chance to check it out (finally). Brad and his comrades Eric and Jason were a blast to hang out with, and we tried a few fantastic drinks. We also had a fun discussion about Malört, something I've done a few times in recent weeks.

First Up: Bar DeVille Cocktail
I asked for whatever they felt like making, and Jason made this fantastic concoction for me. Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse 100
1/2 oz Campari
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 egg white

Shake the ingredients together, without ice, thoroughly. Add ice, shake well and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Apply a few drops of Peychaud's bitters to the foam, and swirl them.

We also tried Brad's take on a Hemingway Daiquiri, which he called the Ernest Cocktail, also delicious. Far better than any of the so-called Hemingway Daiquiris we tried in Key West back in February.

Ernest Cocktail
2 oz Flor de Cana 7 year
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
Half Dollar Slice of Lime
3 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

Combine ingredients in a rocks glass, add ice and stir. Garnish with a big, fat grapefruit peel.

The Hard Sell and the Malört
As I wrote about awhile back, Malört is a Chicago thing. Funny enough, Brad mentioned that Mike Sula at the Chicago Reader was working on a story about Mal
ört, and asked several Chicago mixologists to develop recipes for it. Mike even had the owner of the Malört brand try them, and Brad's drink was the winner. Here's the recipe:

The Hard Sell
3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Jeppson's Malört
3/4 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Shake ingredients with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze a large swath of red grapefruit peel over the drink, to add the essential oils from the peel to the surface.

It's an interesting drink, balanced and complex, with those fresh but bitter grapefruit notes on top. Some of that Malört flavor (is that the right word?) comes through on the finish and lingers. It's always the finish with the Malört that gets ya, and stays with ya for a long while. Eric's apt description of Malört was that it "tastes like earwax... earwax and bug spray aged in a gymshoe."

I'm still not loving Malört, although I do find it quite entertaining to talk about lately. At any rate, thanks to Brad, Jason and Eric for a lot of laughs and some great cocktails! Check out Bar DeVille if you haven't already, it's a great addition to Chicago's cocktail scene.

No comments: