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Behind The Stick: Mixing Things Up At Double A

By Paul Leddy in Food on Sep 13, 2013 6:00PM


Often, bars are set off like a stage in a theater where there is a "fourth wall" that the guest and bartender rarely break. At Double A, located in the basement of Mercadito restaurant, the bar is uniquely placed in the middle of the room; that fourth wall is destroyed and the bartenders and guests exist together in the same environment.

Double A is part of the Mercadito Hospitality Group (Tavernita, Barcito, Little Market, and the upcoming Tippling Hall). Like those other properties, its beverage program is overseen by Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci (aka The Tippling Bros). We caught The Tippling Bros at work in a previous Behind the Stick episode filmed at Tavernita. They constantly encourage their bartenders to create new drinks and they offer feedback and suggestions before it is added to the menu.

Double A is definitely not afraid to mix it up and turn preconceived notions of how a bar is set up or how cocktails should be constructed on its head. For instance, in today's Behind the Stick we look at the making of The Crippler cocktail. On paper, ingredients like rye, mezcal, and rhum can seem like an unlikely combination. That is what Paul Sauter, today's featured bartender, likes. In his creations, there are no strict rules of what works or doesn't. He combines his love for classic stirred cocktails and mezcal and comes up with a truly unique cocktail.

In The Crippler, the cocktail is finished off with Yellow Chartreuse and Stroh Jagertee. Say the word Jager and ugly memories of nights involving nasty shots come to mind. Jagertee, however, is a completely different product. It is an Austrian Rhum that is flavored with black tea and spices. If you notice, there are no sweeteners added to this drink. So, the additon of the Jagertee and Chartreuse help to soften the edges to this boozy cocktail.

As Sauter alludes in the video, be careful with this cocktail. One too many can make the cocktail live very much up to its name.

The Crippler

3/4 ounce Sombra Mezcal
1/2 ounce JM Gold Rhum
1/2 ounce Old Overholt Rye
1 ounce Stroh Jagertee
1 barspoon Yellow Chartreuse
3 drops Bitter End Memphis Barbecue Bitters

Add first five ingredients to a mixing glass and add ice. Stir and strain into a cocktail glass. Add the bitters to the top of the cocktail.

Paul Sauter (Double A) - The Crippler Cocktail from Chicago Cocktail Chronicles on Vimeo.

Double A is located at 108 W. Kinzie (in the basement of Mercadito).