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Behind the Stick: Seasonal Ingredients Shine At Storefront Company

By Paul Leddy in Food on Aug 30, 2013 6:20PM


Often, when bartenders are creating drinks, they will start with a liquor and then build the drink, adding other liqueurs, infused syrups, citrus, and even tinctures to come up with a particular flavor-profile for the drink. When the cocktail is served, it will have it's own unique flavor, but it will be still be known by its base spirit: a "gin" cocktail or ”bourbon" cocktail, for example.

In today's episode, we see things created a little differently. At Storefront Company, Chef Bryan Moscatello's focus is on seasonal, farm-fresh products that are at the peak of their flavor. Their bar program is run similarly as seasonal, culinary ingredients are the stars of the cocktails.

In a previous "Behind the Stick," we explored the relationship between the kitchen and the bar in the construction of cocktails. This is the first time, though, that the kitchen actively runs the bar program as well.

Sous Chef David Park, an alumnus of Aviary's culinary kitchen, has created a cocktail menu that is divided into two sections. The first section is "kitchen" cocktails that profile a particular ingredient like ginger, apple, or as in today's video, strawberry. The second section is "classic" cocktails like the Martinez or the Manhattan.

The kitchen cocktails become an almost amuse bouche before the meal. They are designed to get the taste buds energized and gives you a glimpse into the kitchen's approach with fresh ingredients as you make your decisions for the rest of the meal.

Strawberry Cocktail
2 ounce Breaking and Entering Bourbon
0.25 ounce Byrhh
0.25 ounce lemon juice
0.75 ounce Strawberry Syrup (1:1)
Barspoon strawberry jam
2 dashes Rhubarb bitters

Add all ingredients to shaker tin, add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with a bourbon-poached strawberry.

David Park (Storefront Company) - Strawberry cocktail from Chicago Cocktail Chronicles on Vimeo.