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Behind The Stick: Shrinebuilder At The Whistler

By Paul Leddy in Best Of on Feb 21, 2013 7:00PM

The Shrinebuilder Cocktail at The Whistler.

A lot has changed at the Whistler in the 4+ years since it opened. In 2008, the cocktail scene in Chicago was still in its infancy. Violet Hour had been open for almost a year, but the thought of opening a cocktail-focused music venue in the culinary desert at Milwaukee and Fullerton seemed like a bad idea. But people came, and they continue to come. That culinary desert has sprouted restaurants, bars, and breweries. The Whistler isn't just a destination for foodies and cocktailians, but for locals that love what it has to offer.

When the opening bartender, Paul McGee, left to work for Lettuce Entertain You, there were some that had concerns over how Whistler would handle the change. It would seem that the answer is quite well. Yes, some of the cocktail prices have increased, but that also opened the door for bartenders to be creative with more expensive liquors and house-made syrups and mixers. In todays cocktail, we see just that with Eric Henry taking verdita (a mixture of cilantro, mint, jalapeƱo, habanero, lime and pineapple juice) and mixing it with the herbal Green Chartreuse. The result is a cocktail that is spicy, herbaceous and downright tasty.

The Whister is located at 2421 North Milwaukee Avenue