Well, Donovan and Dillon will draw. I will chat-up the bartender to find out the wonders of the drink, record what we drink, and then write our findings. Sometimes our friends join us for a round or two; their drink choices are expressed next to their initials.
Our first bar to kick off this adventure is...
Drawing by Donovan Beeson
The Matchbox 770 North Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60642
Details: The smallest bar in Chicago. There are only 18 stools to park your butt and the bar space is a 460 sq ft triangle. The bathrooms are positioned in the narrowest point of said triangle, so if all the seats are taken, you may have to ask the person in the last stool to get up in order to get to the restrooms. This only adds to its charm.
Why go here then? The Matchbox only has one of the best stocked cocktail bars and home to some amazing signature drinks.
DB) Rum & Coke
KZ) Old Raj Gin & Tonic
Thoughts: I don't know why we went for these lame/safe drinks in our first round. We were obviously out of our minds, but thankfully were set straight when I asked for the best drinks of the bar. Old Raj is a gin that has saffron in it. I was told to order this by a saleslady at LUSH. While I wasn't disappointed, there are certainly better drinks to be had at this bar.
Brandy, Cointreau, lemon juice, powdered sugar rim
DY) Gin & Jam
Fresh lemon, gin, dollop of black raspberry jam, and a splash of soda water
KZ) Maple Leaf
Rye whiskey, lemon juice, and maple syrup
Thoughts: All of us agreed that the Sidecar is hands down one of the best Sidecars we've ever tasted. Absolutely amazing. The Maple Leaf is also very good and is a drink I will return to this bar for. Dillon complained it was too sweet, but Donovan and I agreed that the lemon juice cuts the sweetness to a softer flavor.
Bonus with both me and Dillon's drinks was that the bartender left us the shakers with the leftover mix. This gave us two full drinks for the price of one. Well, thankyouverymuch!
DB) Pineapple Gimlet
We were too caught up in conversation to write what was in this one.
Dillon was jealous enough of Donovan's sidecar that he got it for this round.
KZ) Gin Blossom
I unfortunately was too excited about this drink to write down what exactly went into it. The searches I did online brings up conflicting recipes.
Thoughts: The bartender was telling us that the various Gimlets they offer is one of the biggest draws to the bar. While we agreed that this Gimlet was good, it paled in comparison to the Sidecar. Donovan suggested that next time she would get the Pineapple Gimlet first, then get the sidecar to finish the night with.
Drawings by Dillon Yothers
Bartender's current favorite drink:
The Last Word
Equal parts Gin, Maraschino liquor, Green Chartreuse, and lime juice
(Recipe from the Chartreuse website)
• Due to the size of this bar, go early on the weekend or choose a weekday. During the summer they have outdoor seating, but all other seasons it is just the 18 stools and then standing room only afterward.
• Ask to see the specialty drinks list
• Get the freakin' Sidecar
• Don't try chatting up the bartender until your second or third round. She is super busy and tends to be more friendly after she's seen what your liver can do.
Our next Drink & Draw will be in two weeks, but we havne't decided where yet. We will report back our findings.