The latest trend behind the bar? Cocktails that tempt with dark, smoky, spicy flavors.
The Yellow Rose at Tête Charcuterie
All heads turn when beverage director Priscilla Young of Travelle Kitchen + Bar (330 N. Wabash Ave., Second Fl., 312-923- 7705) pulls out her blowtorch, flaming orange peel, and clove to make The Langham hotel hot spot’s Smoke cocktail. “Fire, spice, and darker flavors captivate,” says Young as she fills the smoking glass.
Captivating indeed. This fall, Chicago’s buzziest cocktails draw from a seductive palette of deep, spicy, and bitter.
“Too much and these things can be bullies in the glass,” says Owen Worley, bar director at Tête Charcuterie (1114 W. Randolph St., 312-733-1178), “but balanced, they add intrigue and depth.” Case in point: the Yellow Rose, a concoction of rye, Salers (a gentian-bitter-spiked aperitif), fernet, Demerara syrup, orange blossom tincture, and smoked salt.
Meanwhile, at Danny Meyer’s GreenRiver (259 E. Erie St., 18th Fl., 312-337-0101), head bartender Julia Momose has dreamt up the Mr. Dooley, paying homage to the “dark, flirtatious, and intriguing” character created by 19th-century Chicago Post writer Finley Dunne. The whiskey and egg white cocktail features a heady mix of Orinoco bitters, cacao, Lapsang Souchong tea, Amaro Montenegro, Campari, and cinnamon.