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

Behind the Stick: Art Imitates Life At Bernard's Bar

By Paul Leddy in Food on Feb 6, 2013 8:15PM

The Foreigner Cocktail from Tom Hogan at Bernard's Bar
Declaring that your bartender is a true “artist” is guaranteed to provoke eye rolls from your friends or make them consider cutting you off from further drinking. The reality is that a lot of the bartenders creating and mixing drinks use it as an another outlet for their creative energy. Many of them are actors, painters, writers, photographers, and in the case of today’s video, sculptors. Actually, it isn’t too much of a stretch when you think that creativity always starts from the same point: a blank canvas, a blank page, or an empty mixing glass.

Tom Hogan from Bernard’s Bar in the Waldorf Astoria (formerly Elysian) hotel approaches his cocktails in a similar manner as he approaches his sculptures. He begins the process with inspiration - an ingredient or a theme - and then builds the cocktail from there. In today’s cocktail, The Foreigner, he takes a peaty, blended Scotch called Pig’s Nose and pairs it with Tuaca (orange-vanilla liqueur), house made walnut liqueur, sweet vermouth and walnut bitters. The result is a cocktail that is complex, warming, and perfect for a winter night.

Bernard's Bar is located on the second floor of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, 11 East Walton