Would you have the nerve to mix these on your own?/Photo: Adam Seger
By Lauren Knight
More than just the traditional bartender, the mixologist is a crafter of recipes, a purveyor of liquefied bliss who mixes up sometimes arcane ingredients to please us with innovative flavor combinations. The craft of mixology remains a mystery for most, an enigma stirred into a paradox, served in a double Old Fashioned glass.
The rising trend of DIY cocktails makes mixology more accessible.
“It is about letting people be their own mixologist,” says Adam Seger, a veteran of the craft who has spent his career developing cocktails that challenge standards. From working directly with chefs and involving the kitchen in the bar program, to sourcing unusual ingredients for his recipes, Seger is a pioneer in the craft cocktail revolution.
It was through that latter endeavor that Rare Botanical Bitters came about. Seger partnered with Rodrick Markus, whose Rare Tea Cellar is highly regarded throughout the food community as a source for hard-to-find ingredients and unique tea blends. Markus and Seger, his customer of twelve years, decided to work together to create syrups, shrubs and other beverage components using the highest-quality teas, sweeteners, and botanicals. Read the rest of this entry »
Adam Seger and Rodrick Markus/Photo: David Hammond
By David Hammond
Balsam Amaro hits Chicago later this month, which could be the best thing to happen to vermouth in a long time. “We’re waking up a vermouth industry that’s been napping since the eighteenth century,” says Adam Seger, an acclaimed mixer of fine cocktails, sommelier, and alumnus of places like Tru and The French Laundry. Seger is also the man behind Hum botanical spirits, another amaro in the Italian tradition.
Balsam Amaro is a “spirit of Vermouth” that Seger is at this moment bottling with Rodrick Markus of Rare Tea Cellar. It could be a game changer, not only for mixed drinks but for those of us who actually drink vermouth straight or on ice. If that sounds hyperbolic, consider your own perceptions of vermouth. Read the rest of this entry »
That we’ve become big fans of the mixological mysticism of Adam Seger is no secret. So though we normally file cocktaily gimmicks in our perpetual maybe file, the notion that Seger has concocted a diet-friendly potion caught our eye. And his publicist has been so kind to forward the recipe for the LookBetterNaked martini, along with this description of its, um, benefits:
“The LookBetterNaked margarita is made from all-natural ingredients, including Partida Reposado tequila, Sambazon Organic Acai, organic agave nectar, rosemary, egg white and fresh squeezed lime juice. Using a Sambazon Pure Organic Acai smoothie pack and Partida Organic Agave Nectar, the margarita is filled with antioxidants, amino acids, dietary fiber, iron, calcium, cholesterol-reducing fructans and Vitamins A and C. The rosemary is rich in vitamin E, preventing cancer and skin damage. An egg white provides a lean source of protein, while the fresh lime juice prevents heart disease and gives an extra dose of Vitamin C. TheLookBetterNaked margarita is this year’s answer to those countless toasts of the season. Read the rest of this entry »
Top 5 Cocktails
Fig and almond old-fashioned, Sepia, Peter Vestinos
Pear Nectar, Sepia, Peter Vestinos
Blue Ridge Manhattan, Violet Hour, Tobey Maloney
Citrine, Graze, Jennifer Contraveos
El Corazon with Del Maguey mezcal float, Nacional 27, Adam Seger
Top 5 Chicago Mixologists
Adam Seger, Nacional 27
Peter Vestinos, Sepia
Jennifer Contraveos, formerly of Graze
Tobey Maloney, Violet Hour
John Kinder, MK
Top 5 Local Brews
Hop Juice Double India Pale Ale, Two Brothers
Alpha King, Three Floyds
Pere Jacques, Goose Island
Summertime Kolsch, Goose Island
Heavy Handed IPA, Two Brothers