Binny's Home Bartender: Lincoln Park Tasting Room Winter Cocktails
If you shop our sprawling Lincoln Park location, you may wind up meandering through aisle after aisle of tempting tipples from all over the world, find yourself agog at the array of sparkling wines on offer in the Champagne Depot, only to wander, Magellan-like to what may seem like the ends of the earth. Intrepid explorers, cartographers and the thirsty may take pause, the phrase “here be dragons” ringing in their ears. But fear not, you have reached your destination safely (unlike Magellan). You are in the Lincoln Park Tasting Room.
Welcome to the 120-year-old, rustic, industrial charm of the former Goose Island pumping station turned dramatically high-ceilinged cathedral of potent potables. Ample seating at the long bar and communal tables encourage discussion among the passionate about the current tap beer offerings, the relative merits of Bordeaux vs. Napa cab and the balance of the handcrafted cocktails on offer. Come on in and enjoy a drink mid-shop, try something you’ve never had before or just slake your considerable Chicago-sized thirst.
Speaking of cocktails, our resident Tasting Room mixologists are pumping out a bevy of new beverages just for the dreary winter months, and the Binny’s Home Bartender approves. Stop in, give them a try and pick up everything you need to replicate them at home.
Here are a few highlights from the new menu:
Beach Chair Dibs
The Binny’s Home Bartender knows a gin buck when we see one. This is just a slight floral twist on that classic highball. Bucks are gingery refreshers that likely trace their lineage back to the non-alcoholic Horse’s Neck, a tall glass of iced ginger ale or ginger beer garnished with a long strip of lemon peel that spirals along the interior of the glass from top to bottom. The peel is said to resemble a horse’s neck.
Add a shot of any liquor, in this case gin, to make that horse buck. These simple and delicious booze, ginger beer and citrus highballs include all Bucks and Mules (mules kick, but the ever-popular Mocow Mule is indeed a buck).
The riff here is the use of Q Hibiscus Ginger Beer. Would this concoction, with a floral nod of the head to the Caribbean, be a great summer drink? Yes, but true Chicagoans know that even though summer is over, the seasons accoutrement are still of use. Even though it’s a practice the city may want to buck, those who park on the streets of Chicago are not giving up their Beach Chair Dibs.
- 1½ oz Plymouth Gin
- ½ oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 3 oz Q Hibiscus Ginger Beer (half the can)
- Garnish: lime wheel
- Build cocktail in Collins glass
- Top with ice
- Garnish with lime wheel
Liquid Flannel? Wasn’t that a criminally overlooked psychedelic grunge band that used to pump out singles on Sub Pop in the late 80s? No, it’s a riff on the modern Scotch cocktail classic, the Penicillin (Quarantinis Vol. 6). Our mixologists have switched out the blended scotch base for a rich, oak, earth and fruit driven apple brandy from Hubert’s and it fits like a well-worn hand-me-down. Substantial, warming and so comfortable to slip into, this Penicillin might not cure what ails you, but the ginger, lemon and brandy combo will certainly provide a temporary feeling of wellbeing. Ardbeg Wee Beastie or 10-year Single Malt will provide plenty of peaty smoke. An atomizer is a fun little tool for controlled spritzing but rolling a few drops around to coat the inside of your glass will work too. It is largely an aromatic element but will also give a whisper of smoke to the palate. Complex and delicious.
- Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch rinse
- 1 ½ oz Huber’s Starlight Applejack
- ½ oz ginger syrup
- ¾ oz lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Rinse coupe with 4-5 sprays from Ardbeg atomizer
- Combine remaining ingredients in shaker with ice
- Shake 10-15 seconds and double strain into scotch rinsed coupe
Lake Effect Latte
If Belarus was a Caribbean island we might call this a White Russian. If Ireland actually physically broke away from Britain and floated south, Irish Coffee might be rum-based and served cold. As things are, Chicago is the home of this sweet, spicy, coffee, coconut, and vanilla scented bear hug of a cocktail.
One sip and visions of pirates in warm sweaters, wistfully gazing out of windows (potent potable portholes?) at gently falling snow dance in the head. Perhaps, they hijacked a famed Christmas Tree Ship en route to Chicago from northern Michigan. Captain Morgan is at the helm instead of Captain Santa Claus.
But what’s this? The cozy feeling brought on by Lake Effect Lattes has caused a Grinch-like change of heart and they merrily deliver the trees to a grateful Chicagoland. Or is that just our Lake Effect Latte induced daydream?
Try one and find out what strange flights of fancy blow in off the lake, like snowflakes or a fine dusting of freshly grated nutmeg, to settle in your calm and comforted mind. The kind of rich, soul warming decadence winter in Chicago demands.
- 1½ oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
- ¾ oz Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur
- ¾ oz Vanilla flavored creamer
- Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg
- Combine ingredients with ice in a shaker
- Shake 10-15 seconds, open pour into glass and top with ice if needed
- Garnish with ground nutmeg