We really can’t believe an entire year has nearly passed since we first started slinging drinks here at The Drinkingbird. Chicago is a great city and it’s been good to us.
Our neighborhood, Lincoln Park, has embraced us as a unique nightlife option in the area since we opened on May 15, 2012. We believe in working hard to do things right while keeping to the highest standards behind the bar, in the kitchen, and every way in which we serve you.
We decided to use this moment to address our overall beverage philosophy here at The Drinkingbird, so you know what you’re getting when you stop in for a libation. According to our head bartender, Aaron Minnes, here it is, from the beginning:
Drinkingbird: From Scratch
“It was a tough process at first. We were slated for a late spring grand opening and I wanted to choose drinks that were both weather- and theme-appropriate. A great deal of research went into that first list. I wanted to get things right,” says Minnes. “I spent many hours poring over books old and new, as well as scouring the Internet for inspiration.
“The thing with some of these old cocktails is that there are multiple recipes for many of them, whether the difference be in the proportions or products used. When I found something interesting, I’d try as many of the recipes as I could find, sometimes combining two or going off on in my own direction until I tasted something that really made me sit back in the chair and just enjoy it,” he continues. “Next step, choosing what spirits to use in the various cocktails. Most recipes are pretty generic as far as which products are used, calling for rum instead of a specific style or brand. This was both entertaining and frustrating in that I had to consider the ‘original intent’ of the drink.
“For example, I’d ask myself, ‘What flavor profiles are inherent to this cocktail?’ Using a light rum instead of a black strap rum-it drastically changes the overall result. For most, I had a good idea what to use, but there are so many good products to choose from that it took some narrowing-down through taste testing and research. I wanted to stay as era-appropriate as possible,
that era here at The Drinkingbird being the 1960’s, without completely ignoring all the skilled craft distilleries out there these days. It was really about merging the old with the new to create a classic cocktail that still reflects the current realities of the day.”
We believe we’ve done that. We’re constantly evolving and, actually, part of celebrating our first year in business will include some changes to the cocktail list we think you’re going to enjoy. Stay tuned, keep drinking.