When I asked my friend Jake—who makes high-end cocktails for a living—if he referred to himself as a “mixologist,” he rolled his eyes so hard the floorboards groaned.
“I’m a bartender,” he said, then he spread his arms like a magician who just finished the trick. “I tend a bar.”
I’d been sitting at the bar Jake tends in Chicago’s west loop for about an hour, sampling his latest seasonal concoctions. So I was feeling nice and warm and chatty when I asked him a question that—in the moment—I was sure he’d never been asked before: “What’re your go-to cocktails?”
“Hmm,” he said, pretending to ponder a question that—I realize now—he’s been asked a hundred times.
“Like when you want a drink, but don’t wanna think about it?”
Jake pursed his lips, polished a glass.
“Like... fancy cocktails, but ones I could make at home,” I said, fearing I wasn’t being understood.
“Right, I got it.”
I present to you now, Jake’s answers.
A.k.a “The Bourbon Negroni.” Classy yet understated. No fancy techniques here. Just three simple ingredients swirled together. Some recipes call for equal parts everything. But Jake and I like to make ours a little stiffer. We use two parts rye in place of bourbon. “For that good, good spice,” said Jake.
Mix all three ingredients together and pour into a rocks glass or coupe filled with fresh ice.
Check back soon for more fancy cocktails you can make at home!