The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2016

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Page 42 of 116

42  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2016 HOT PROPERTY C raft cocktail lounge The Berkshire Room in Chicago's River North neighborhood fits right into the trendy aesthetic of the boutique ACME Hotel Company. Marble cocktail tables, leather couches, dark wood and Edison bulbs perched between whiskey cages decorate the space, which feels part home library, lounge and office—the perfect setting for hotel guests, cocktail enthusiasts and neighborhood profes- sionals alike to rub elbows. Manning the bar is Beverage Director Benjamin Schiller, who got his start filling in behind the bar at various restaurants and clubs in Chicago. "The breadth of our selection, combined with the guests' ability to customize their own drinks, all in a welcoming environment, sets the Berkshire Room apart from most bars," Schiller says. The bar has acquired whiskey bottles from the '30s to the '70s, some of which have had to be strained and re-bottled into decanters or glass bottles to maintain the integrity of the spirits. Beyond curating its vast whiskey selection— including pours that start at $100 and a vintage whiskey that sold for $7,000—The Berkshire Room takes great care in crafting the proper ice for each cocktail, using a Clinebell freezer to make the purest custom ice. At The Berkshire Room, cocktails change with the seasons, with barrel-aged cocktails a staple on the menu all year, as well as the bar's much-lauded Dealer's Choice you-call-it selection, where guests may pick a spirit and bartenders craft a drink. "We feel that it's puts the focus back where it belongs— with the guest," Schiller says. ACME Hotel Company DIY Cocktail Kits Bring the Bar to Guests At Chicago's ACME Hotel Company, room service receives a spirited boost with the in-room DIY Cocktail Kit ($18). The newly- introduced amenity means guests can mix up a nightcap from the comfort of their pajamas. The cocktail kits include only the finest ingredients, which will change with the seasons, but will always include the necessary spirits, garnishes, custom shaker and recipe card for two. Guests may purchase the complete DIY cocktail kits, which currently feature ingredients for an Urban Jungle cocktail, including Tanqueray Gin, distilled Sherry with a lemon squeeze, Mexican agave syrup and star anise garnish. ACME Hotel DIY Cocktail Kits are available to guests thanks to a partnership with Cocktail Courier, an online cocktail delivery service. COCKTAILS REIGN KING AT THE BERKSHIRE ROOM INSIDE CHICAGO'S ACME HOTEL COMPANY by Becky Tsadik / photos by Rebecca Peplinski Crafting Up Class Benjamin Schiller, Beverage Director at The Berkshire Room inside Chicago's ACME Hotel Company. Old $ by Benjamin Schiller, Beverage Director at The Berkshire Room ◗ 2 oz. bourbon ◗ ½ oz. Aperol ◗ 3 ⁄8 oz. Nux Alpina Austrian Walnut Liqueur ◗ Drop allspice dram ◗ 1 dash Angostura Bitters ◗ Zest orange peel Stir and serve in a rocks glass.

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