The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Behind The Stick: Get Yourself Gotten At Vie Restaurant

By Paul Leddy in Food on Dec 12, 2012 6:40PM

The Get Yourself Gotten from Bill Anderson at Vie Restaurant

Very few bartenders become skilled bartenders overnight. Most have gone through years of grunt work as bar-backs: lugging ice up staircases, juicing cases of citrus daily and cleaning glasses and tools for head bartenders. After several months or even years, they prove themselves worthy to move to the next step which is to be responsible for getting beers, glasses of wine, and a shot of Malört here and there for guests.

The goal, at least in craft cocktail bars, is to know and understand the classics and use that knowledge to come up with new flavor combinations in personal cocktail creations. WIth the right mentor, there is an environment that encourages growth and helps build that knowledge.

Bill Anderson, the subject of today's video, came up learning from one of the best in the city, Josh Pearson from Sepia restaurant. Bill trained with Josh for close to 3-1/2 years and is now letting his talents grow at Vie Restaurant in Western Springs. At Vie, Chef Paul Virant (also chef at Perennial Virant), cooks seasonally and works closely with local producers. He captures the flavors of the season by regularly preserving the fruits and vegetables so that they can be enjoyed in those times when they are not seasonally available.

In today's video, Bill uses one of those preserves, a huckleberry Aigre-doux, to come up with an excellent gin cocktail that gives a refreshing huckleberry flavor. Something we all could use as the chill of winter is hitting us in the face.

Vie Restaurant is located at 4471 Lawn Avenue, Western Springs.