Cocktails We Love is a new column on Boozist highlighting the best cocktails in Chicago as well as ones you can make in your own kitchen. Have a suggestion? Send it our way!
There are expensive cocktails and then there are the “Brandy & Cigars” and “Bill Brasky” cocktails.
Plenty of bars charge stupid amounts for drinks. $8 for a Jack & Coke? Thanks, Obama. But not all high-priced drinks are created equally, and some are well worth the money. For example, Bottlefork in Chicago might have the most reasonably-priced $30+ cocktails you can order.
Bill Brasky – $35
Journeyman Rye + Hudson New York Corn Moonshine + Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Bank Note 5 Year Blended Scotch + Hammer & Tongs Sac’ Resine Vermouth
Regan’s Orange Bitters + The After Shave Brasky Used to Woo Your Wife
I know what you’re thinking, assuming you aren’t a millionaire. How the hell could a $35 cocktail be reasonably priced? That’s pretty much the high point of expensive cocktails. Well, it’s simple. The drink is almost entirely alcohol, and it’s huge. The cocktail’s namesake, Bill Brasky, was a man who loved his booze, so it makes sense that his cocktail should be whiskey on whiskey on whiskey on whiskey. Even Xzibit thinks that’s ridiculous.
As an added expense, the 3″ ice cubes used in each Bill Brasky normally cost $1.50 each, and it’s safe to say there’s probably a premium for having a playing card with a naked lady on it frozen inside.
The most impressive part about the Bill Brasky isn’t that it’s based on a fictional dead guy. The most impressive part is that it actually tastes amazing. You’d think things would go awry with all those different styles of whiskey vying for your taste buds’ attention. All credit goes to Bottlefork’s Brandon Phillips for choosing his ingredients perfectly. Oh, and the aftershave Brasky used to woo your wife? It’s rose water.
Brandy & Cigars – $30
Unlike some bars that charge happy ending prices just because people are willing to pay them, Bottlefork actually provides something more in their expensive cocktails. They took a page out of the Aviary playbook and turned the Brandy and Cigars cocktail into a drink a show. There’s smoke, fire, and eventual intoxication. For what more could you ask?
The cocktail isn’t just flavored by liquid smoke. It’s bombarded by the real deal. They grind and burn a Honduran Robusto cigar and then pump that smoke into the Harry Potter’s goblet of fire. While the smoke obviously looks awesome, it actually serves a purpose as well. When the cocktail is dumped into the absurdly large glass, the aroma of the smoke remains. The tobacco oil lines the glass and slowly drips down into the drink, meaning that the flavor of the drink changes as it sits on the bar in front of you.
Here’s a little b-roll footage for you. I know you kids are visual these days.
And in case you couldn’t tell from all that just how large the glass is, here’s a photo of me drinking it with my standard sized face. By the way, thanks for the free drink, Bottlefork. It really made me look cool in front of my girlfriend.
*Tuthilltown Spirits puts their delicious Hudson whiskeys in pint sized bottles for $50.