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Behind the Stick: It's Suntory Time At Violet Hour

By Paul Leddy in Food on Aug 10, 2013 8:00PM


Viewing a cocktail menu, and seeing the cocktails that are being offered, we don't always know the amount of work that goes into the creation of each cocktail.

Sure, there are the cocktails that go from paper to glass quickly, but bartenders see those times as rare.

Most cocktails go through many changes and alterations until they are deemed worthy enough to appear on a menu.

Further, when the cocktail is being created for one of the top cocktail bars in the country -- one that helped set the stage for Chicago's cocktail culture -- the work making it can be even more intense.

So when we walked into a shoot, we saw Violet Hour head bartender Robbie Haynes was going off on a concept about a cocktail that used Aperol.

As he worked through the shoot, Haynes tweaked things here and there. The result was a very delicious cocktail that uses Suntory, the Japanese whiskey.

A week later, Haynes emailed us with the cocktail's final version -- one that still used the same ingredients.

Haynes, however, had changed everything, from the name of the cocktail to the ratios and preparation. The video shows this early "research" but the recipe below is what you will see prepared if you order it at Violet Hour.

The great "Endless Summer II" name that Haynes uses in the video will have to wait for another cocktail. The name he chose, "Landing Apparatus" is a nod to Sammy J. Ross' "Paper Airplane" cocktail.

We definitely recommend you head to Violet Hour soon since Haynes will be working just a few more shifts before he leaves for a new soon-to-be-announced venture. His last shift is Monday, Aug. 12.

Landing Apparatus

1 ounce Yamazaki Suntory 12 yr
1 ounce Aperol
0.75 ounce lemon Juice
0.25 ounce Yellow Chartreuse
0.50 simple syrup
1 dash Yuzu bitters

Add all ingredients to a shaker tin and add ice. Shake and strain over a large ice cube and garnish with a mint sprig.


Robbie Haynes (The Violet Hour) - Landing Apparatus Cocktail from Chicago Cocktail Chronicles on Vimeo.

Violet Hour is located at 1520 N. Damen Ave.