before these violet hours fade

Had a pretty good trip to Chicago a few weeks ago, and a few good cocktails. I’d like to commit all to screen before the memory fogs or I lose my notes.

I flew to the Windy City for a day of work and the opportunity to compete against a bunch of high-tech traders in a rousing Texas Hold’em tournament. I short-stacked my way to a decent showing. Decent enough for me, anyway.

That ball of light and energy is Wrigley Field and during my entire trip the city was in a state of electric enthusiasm. In the end, the Cubs didn’t reach their shinning moment but the hope on the streets, bars, and Ubers of Chicago was palpable; a lovely atmosphere that was a true, rare pleasure.

Inspired directions. 


After poker and a couple slices of Free Pizza I was thirsty. My boss suggested I try The Violet Hour and, luckily for me, I generally do as I am told.

You can open the hidden doors.

Looks promising.

BONFIRE GOSPEL: domaine dupont calvados, botran white rum, lustau palo cortado, Leonard Cohen’s Songs Of Love and Hate, and campfire bitters.

It was a bright fire to behold. More blaze than smoke, more Laud than Vigil, more tabernacle than temple. A strong first showing.

ALLEGHENY MOUNTAIN FLIP: Rittenhouse, lemon, whole egg, The Paris Sisters’ I Love How You Love Me, malted rye-walnut syrup.

Those of you who have followed this diary for awhile know that I tend to always drink excellent cocktails in Chicago. This flip knocked them all into the ivy at Wrigley. Phenomenal. I love a good egg in good booze but this was something special. Rye on rye on rye, a subtle chill brushed awake by precisely the right amount of lemon. It’s milky yet it’s not milk, it’s garnished with fresh nutmeg yet you’re mentally sipping this next to a beach somewhere quiet with a new book. Simply outstanding. I could have giddily finished more than a dozen.

I want to thank Harrison (my barkeep on this violet visit) for his consummate professionalism, being an expert on walnuts — such keen knowledge. Thanks for not being a creep and for suggesting we enjoy a few rounds of Amaro Di Angostura. I always forget that’s allowed in your area code. 

The Violet Hour

1520 N Damen Avenue

Chicago, IL 60622


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