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The Violet Hour


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#301 mkayahara

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 02:51 PM

Stopped by TVH last night, on our last evening in Chicago, and had a great time. I think the lineup out the door when we left speaks volumes about the bar's quality. I made sure to have the Tongue in Cheek based on the recommendations here, and loved it. But our favourite cocktail of the evening was this one:

Devil’s Playground    Genevieve, Lemon, Ginger Syrup. Cassis, House Orange Bitters

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Any chance you'd be willing to share the proportions, Toby?
Matthew Kayahara
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#302 Alchemist

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 02:36 PM

Stopped by TVH last night, on our last evening in Chicago, and had a great time. I think the lineup out the door when we left speaks volumes about the bar's quality. I made sure to have the Tongue in Cheek based on the recommendations here, and loved it. But our favourite cocktail of the evening was this one:

Devil’s Playground     Genevieve, Lemon, Ginger Syrup. Cassis, House Orange Bitters

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Any chance you'd be willing to share the proportions, Toby?

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Here you go, enjoy!

Devil’s Playground
2.0 oz Genevieve Gin
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
.25 oz Ginger Syrup
7 drops Angostura Bitters
9 drops House Orange Bitters

Top: Soda
Float .125 oz Cassis

Glass: Collins
Ice: Shard
Garnish: Lemon Flag

Cheers,

Toby



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#303 mkayahara

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 04:47 PM

Thanks so much, Toby!
Matthew Kayahara
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#304 Alchemist

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 02:31 PM

After a very long frustrating time of tryingto make spaces between bold names of cocktails, and the ingrediants, I give up. Very sorry that it is so hard to read. I will try again when I have another spare hour. If one of the moderators would like to shoot me a pm with some tips on how to do it That would be great.

So, there are some greatest hit on this menu, going back to the first menu, summer 2007. It was a reminder for bartenders and loyal patrons where we started.

The Violet Hour
Autumn ’09 Cocktail List

Gin


Indian Summer Plymouth, Lime, Lavender Syrup, House-made Tonic

20th Century Death’s Door, Lemon, Crème de Cacao White, Lillet

Juliet & Romeo Beefeater, Mint, Cucumber, Rose Water

The Riviera Bombay Macerated Pineapple, Lemon, Egg White, Campari

Oldest Living Confederate Widow Bombay Dry, Lemon, House Made Honey Syrup, Pernod Absinthe, House Orange Bitters

Improved Holland Cocktail Genevieve, Luxardo Maraschino, Angostura Bitters

Negroni Tredici Tanqueray, Carpano Antica, Campari, Cynar, Regans’ Orange Bitters



Rum

Honeysuckle Brugal Anejo, Lime, Honey Syrup

Hush & Wonder Matusalem, Lime, Créme de Violette, Grapefruit Bitters

Blackberry Caipirissima Flor de Caña 4 yr, Lime, Demerara Syrup, Blackberries

Dark & Stormy Brugal Anejo, Lime, Cruzan Black Strap, House Ginger Syrup

Tattooed Seaman Sailor Jerry, Demerara Syrup, Root Beer Bitters


Whiskey

Tongue in Cheek Weller Special Reserve Bourbon, Lemon, Carpano Antica, Strawberry, Mint

Zarzamora Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, Lemon, Fernet Branca, Blackberries, House Orange Bitters

Daisy 17 Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Lemon, House Grenadine,
House Orange Bitters

Sarsaparilla Sling Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Lemon, Amaro Ciociaro, Sarsaparilla Syrup, Root Beer Bitters

Seasonal Sazerac Jim Beam Rye, Berentzen Apfle Korn, Herbsaint, Peychaud’s Bitters

Nickel Manhattan Rittenhouse 100 Rye, Punt e Mes, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Gilka Kummel, Peychaud’s Bitters

A Little Bed Johnnie Walker Red, Lemon, Apry, Laphroig, Hellfire Bitters



Tequila

Tequila Mockingbird Herradura Silver, Lemon, Yellow Chartreuse, Peppermint Water

Spanish Margarita El Jimador, Lime, Licor 43, Hell-fire Bitters

El Diablo El Jimador, Lime, Ginger Syrup, Briottet Crème de Cassis

Tequila Old Fashioned Herradura Silver, Fees Old Fashioned Bitters, Grapefruit Oil



Brandy

Apples & Oranges Laird’s Bonded Applejack, Lemon, St. Germain, Blackberries, Angostura Orange Bitters

Summer and Tremont Clear Creek Pear Brandy, Grapefruit, Raspberry Syrup,
Fernet Branca

In Bloom Maison Surrenne Cognac, Lemon, Apricot Eau De Vie, Angostura Bitters

St. Marks Reviver Pisco Acholado, Lime, Egg White, Luxardo Maraschino,
Cherry Bitters



Potable Bitters

Easy Out Aperol, Grapefruit, Tanqueray, Raspberry Syrup, Campari

Pimms Cup Variation #2 Pimms #1, Lemon, St. Germain, Cucumber, Angostura Orange Bitters

Giralamo Sour Luxardo Amaro, Lemon, Egg White, Luxardo Bitter

Bakers, Beggars & Brides Cynar, Whole Egg, St. Elizabeth All Spice Dram, Nutmeg



Vodka

Part & Parcel Tito's, Grapefruit, St. Germain, Grapefruit Bitters

Lock & Load Tito’s, Lemon, Amaro Nonino

Wry Dane Aalborg Aquavit, Lemon, Egg White, Peychaud’s Bitters



Wine and Sparkling

The White Sparrow Gruet Sparkling, Lemon, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Velvet Falernum

Seasonal Sangria Pinot Noir, Apricot, Pear, Grapes, Orange, Allspice

The Etiquette Gruet Sparkling, Tabernero Pisco Acholado, House Made Raspberry Syrup

Lazarus Reviver Gruet, Lemon, Bombay Gin, Lillet, Pernod



Autumn Punches

Pisco Punch Montesierpe Pisco Acholado, Lime, Pineapple Syrup, Miramar Bitters

Jonestown Punch Jim Beam Rye Whiskey, Lemon, Apry, Bergamont Syrup, Regans’ Orange Bitters





And we are adding a page to the menu with some of the classics. This will be an ever expanding section. But the idea behind this is for people to rember that these cocktails have been around for a very long time for a reason, they are really good.



Classic Cocktails

Aviation Plymouth Gin, Lemon, Luxardo Maraschino, Rothman & Winter Violette Liqueur

Corpse Reviver #2 Bombay Dry Gin, Lemon, Lillet, Marie Brizard Orange Curacao, Pernod Absinthe

Champagne Cocktail Gruet Sparkling, Sugar Cube, Angostura Bitters

Daiquiri Flor de Caña 4 yr Rum, Simple Syrup, Lime

Gimlet Plymouth Gin, Simple Syrup, Lime

Hotel Nacional Brugal Anejo Rum, Lime, Apry, Pineapple

Jack Rose Laird’s Bonded Applejack, Lemon, House Made Grenadine

Mai Tai El Dorado 5 yr Rum, Lime, House Made Orgeat, House Orange Bitters

Manhattan Rittenhouse 100 Rye, Carpano Antica, Sweet Vermouth, Angostura Bitters

Margarita El Jimador Tequila, Lime, Marie Brizard Orange Curacao

Martini Plymouth Gin, Dolin Dry Vermouth, House Orange Bitters

Mint Julep Weller 107 Bourbon, Demerara Syrup, Mint, Angostura Bitters

Mojito Flor de Caña 4yr Rum, Lime, Mint, Angostura Bitters

Moscow Mule Tito's Vodka, Lime, House Made Ginger Syrup

Negroni Tanqueray Gin, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Campari, Regans’ Orange Bitters

Old Fashioned Rittenhouse 100 Rye, Demerara Syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters

Pegu Club Tanqueray, Lime, Marie Brizard Orange Curacao, Angostura Bitters

Pimms Cup Pimms #1, Lime, Strawberry, Cucumber, Mint

Perfect Martinez Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Dolin Sweet & Dry Vemouth, Luxardo Maraschino, Fees Orange Bitters

Presbyterian Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Lemon, Home Made Ginger Syrup

Ramos Gin Fizz Beefeater Gin, Lemon, Lime, Egg White, Cream, Orange Flower Water

Sazerac Jim Beam Rye, Maison Surrenne Cognac, Herbsaint, Peychaud’s Bitters

Sidecar Maison Surrenne Cognac, Lemon, Marie Brizard Orange Curacao, Fees Orange Bitters

Silver Sour Booze, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Egg White

Southside Tanqueray Gin, Lime, Mint, Peychaud’s Bitters

Tom Collins Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Lemon, Soda Water

Vieux Carre Maison Surrenne Cognac, Jim Beam Rye, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, Peychaud’s Bitters

Cheeers,
Toby



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#305 slkinsey

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 03:46 PM

Negroni Tredici Tanqueray, Carpano Antica, Campari, Cynar, Regans’ Orange Bitters

Why "thirteen"?
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#306 Alchemist

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:40 PM

It is named for the thirteen botanicals that make up Cynar.

Toby



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#307 KD1191

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 09:42 PM

Had the Blackberry Caipirissima this evening, but with cachaça. It was delicious, but I can't say I'd be tripping over myself to try it with rum. Is using the Flor de Caña a cost issue, or one of approachability?

Love the idea of a classics page on the menu, now all that's really left is a non-alcoholic section.

Amaro Nonino in a vodka drink...does TVH pour more Amaro Nonino than any other bar?
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#308 Alchemist

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:55 AM

Had the Blackberry Caipirissima this evening, but with cachaça. It was delicious, but I can't say I'd be tripping over myself to try it with rum. Is using the Flor de Caña a cost issue, or one of approachability?

Love the idea of a classics page on the menu, now all that's really left is a non-alcoholic section.

Amaro Nonino in a vodka drink...does TVH pour more Amaro Nonino than any other bar?


The use of the Flor is because I like Caipirissimas better than I like Caipirinas. It is a more accessible, and I wanted to give that as an option, since it’s a no brainier to go from there to cachaça. But some people dont know that there is the option of rum.

A non-alcoholic section? Does Kumas have a vegan menu?

Yes kind sir I do believe that we pour more Nonino than most of the rest of Chicago, if not Illinois, combined. We are just trying to make vodka drinks with some flavor.

Cheers,
Toby



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#309 tammylc

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 11:02 AM

I was looking at this bottle of St. Germain in my liquor cabinet last night, and fondly remembering the lovely Apples & Oranges cocktail I had at TVH over Labor Day weekend. Can you hook me up with proportions, Toby?

Thanks!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40


#310 Alchemist

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 06:17 PM

This is such an honor.

http://alineamosaic....p?showtopic=838

I don't even know what to say.



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#311 KD1191

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 08:19 PM

This is such an honor.

http://alineamosaic....p?showtopic=838

I don't even know what to say.

Pretty amazing, to be an inspiration to one of the greatest chefs of our generation. Congratulations, Toby. I've been really enjoying watching Chef's interest in classic cocktails play out on the Alinea menu...happy to see you and TVH are getting a deserved share of some of the praise.
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#312 KatieLoeb

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 09:33 PM

This is such an honor.

http://alineamosaic....p?showtopic=838

I don't even know what to say.


Toby:

As Paris Hilton might say, "That's Hot!" How awe inspiring for you to be an inspiration to such great minds as those that reside in the kitchen at Alinea. My hat's off to you and I genuflect...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#313 Alchemist

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 01:58 PM

So The Violet Hour is looking for a bartender. I have put up an ad on the Classifieds thread, but I thought I would put it up here as well.

http://forums.egulle...3

Like the ad says we are looking to fill a Bartender Position, but not with a fully formed bartender.

I look forward to hearing from y'all.

Cheers,
Toby



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#314 eje

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 11:28 AM

What? Looking for a bartender?

Oh. That was January, I suppose they will have filled the position by now... Rats.

What a nice time we had with Michael and Maura at the Violet Hour on Saturday.

Even with the burden of making some pretty dodgy Savoy Cocktails, Michael remained optimistic that some could be saved.

Not to mention a new favorite cocktail, Eeyore's Requiem, and one of the more delightful Pimm's Cups in memory.

Ugly details later, but thanks so much for the wonderful time.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#315 kathryn

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:01 AM

I posted this in its own thread but will repeat here...overall, a lovely place.

Our second time here. The Juliet & Romeo was possibly better than I remember is being. Really also loved my Miraflores and my husband's Daisy 17. The hand carved ice blocks for the rocks drinks were also a nice touch, as were the "sidecar"s for cocktail overflow (you don't see that quite as much in New York City). Palate-wise I think the menu reads a little like Pegu Club but with a twist of Death & Co. if you've been to those cocktail bars in NYC.
"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

#316 KD1191

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 12:53 PM

Had a fantastic visit last night...the menu is almost entirely new (Juliet & Romeo, Dark n' Stormy and the Gilded Cage remain but not much else), and of the dozen new drinks I tasted there wasn't a single one that was less than excellent...I'd order them all again. I'll single out the Grave Dancer as easily my favorite Manhattan variation since the Dogwood. I took some pics of the menu, but they're unintellegible. Hopefully Alchemist will post some info for us.
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#317 Alchemist

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 04:16 PM

Sorry this is a little hard to read, as the formatting is always a problem with my computer. A poor craftsman blames his tools.

We made a huge change, 28 cocktails, this season.


Gin
Baron's Brew Lady Grey infused Beefeater, Lemon, Neroli-Violet Syrup, House made Tonic
Trading Floor Hayman’s Old Tom, Pineapple, Orgeat, Spice Trader Syrup,
Peychaud's Bitters
Juliet & Romeo Beefeater, Mint, Cucumber, Rose Water
Perennial Death’s Door Gin, Fuji Apple Juice, East India Solera Sherry, Ginger Syrup, Angostura Bitters
Black River Bombay Macerated Pineapple, Lemon, Egg White, St Elizabeth Allspice Dram
The Willing Hostage Ransom Old Tom, Bonal, Cynar, Regan's Orange Bitters

Rum

El Commandant Santa Teresa 1796, Lemon, Honey Syrup, Nux Alpina Black Walnut Liqueur
Maloney Park Swizzle Brugal Añejo, Lime, Matusalem Classico, Mint, Peychaud's Bitters
Walsh's Rule El Dorado 12yr, Lime, Amaro CioCiaro, Housemade Grenadine
Dark & Stormy Brugal Anejo, Lime, Cruzan Black Strap, Ginger Syrup
Trinidad Punsch Scarlet Ibis, Lime, Batavia Arrack, Spice Trader Syrup
Notorious F.L.I.P. Smith & Cross, Bonal, Coruba, Whole Egg, Demerara Syrup
Stewed, Screwed & Tattooed Sailor Jerry, Carpano Antica, Flor de Caña 7yr,Punt e Mes, Regans’ Orange Bitters


Whiskey

Blinker Bulleit Bourbon, Grapefruit, Raspberry Syrup, Grapefruit Bitters
Barbed Wire Daisy Weller 107, Lemon, Housemade Grenadine, Saigon Cinnamon, Fees Orange Bitters
The Clapless Belle Bulleit Bourbon, Lemon, Ginger Syrup, Laphroaig Scotch
Gun Shop Sazerac Russell's Reserve 6yr Rye, Maison Surrenne Cognac, Peychaud's Bitters, Herbsaint
Duckhunter Prichard's Sweet Lucy, Lemon, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Egg Yolk, House Orange Bitters
Grave Dancer Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Punt e Mes, Laird’s Applejack, honey Syrup, House Orange & Root Beer Bitters

Tequila

Flaming Heart Lunazul Blanco, Pineapple, Licor 43, Green Tabasco
Goya’s Coupe de Gras Lunazul Blanco, Lime, Amaro CioCiaro, House Made Grenadine, Regans’ Orange Bitters
El Diablo El Jimador, Lime, Ginger Syrup, Briottet Crème de Cassis
Heads You Lose Vida Mezcal, East India Solera Sherry, Nux Alpina Black Walnut Liqueur, House Orange Bitters
The Great Speaker Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal, Demerara Syrup, Coffee-Pecan Bitters







Brandy


Seasonal Sidecar Laird's Applejack, Lemon, House Orange Curacao, Punt e Mes, House made Allspice Dram
Key to the Alps Maison Surrenne Cognac, Grapefruit, Bonal, Angostura Bitters
Swingin’ on the Lawn Mae de Oro Pisco Italia, Lemon, Rothman & Winter Cherry Liqueur, Egg White, Cherry Bitters

Potable Bitters

Pimms Cup Variation Pimms #1, Ginger, Tanqueray, Mint, Orange, Blackberry
The Stroonz Cynar, Grapefruit, Old Forester Bourbon, Orange Oil
Eeyor’s Requiem Campari, Dolin Bianco Vermouth, Cynar, Fernet Branca, House Orange Bitters

Vodka

Austin 75 Tito's, Lemon, House made Hibiscus Syrup, Gruet Sparkling
Gilded Cage Tito’s, Lemon, Honey Syrup, Egg White, Peychaud’s Bitters
Moscow Mule Tito’s, Lime, Ginger Syrup

Wine and Sparkling


Coffee Ay-Ay Ruby Port, House made Coffee Syrup Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Whole Egg, Nutmeg

Seasonal Sangria Au Bon Climat Pinot Blanc, Lemon, Grapefruit, Rothman & Winter Pear Liqueur, Regans’ Orange Bitters

Jimmy Roosevelt Gruet Sparkling, Sugar Cube, Maison Surrenne Cognac, Green Chartreuse, Angostura Bitters

Seasonal Punches
The Lady is a Tramp Lady Grey-infused Beefeater, Lemon, Licor 43, Pineapple, Regans’ Orange Bitters

Buddha & Pest Sazerac 6yr Rye, Fuji Apple Juice, Zwack, Saigon Cinnamon, Angostura Bitters



Classic Cocktails

Aviation Plymouth Gin, Lemon, Luxardo Maraschino, Rothman & Winter
Violette Liqueur
Corpse Reviver #2 Bombay Dry Gin, Lemon, Lillet, Marie Brizard Orange Curacao, Pernod Absinthe
Champagne Cocktail Gruet Sparkling, Sugar Cube, Angostura Bitters
Daiquiri Flor de Caña 4 yr Rum, Simple Syrup, Lime
Gimlet Plymouth Gin, Simple Syrup, Lime
Hotel Nacional Brugal Anejo Rum, Lime, Apry, Pineapple
Improved Holland Cocktail Genevieve Gin, Luxardo Maraschino, Angostura Bitters
Jack Rose Laird’s Bonded Applejack, Lemon, House Made Grenadine
Mai Tai El Dorado 5 yr Rum, Lime, House Made Orgeat, House Orange Bitters
Manhattan Rittenhouse 100 Rye, Carpano Antica, Sweet Vermouth, Angostura Bitters
Margarita El Jimador Tequila, Lime, Marie Brizard Orange Curacao
Martini Plymouth Gin, Dolin Dry Vermouth, House Orange Bitters
Mint Julep Weller 107 Bourbon, Demerara Syrup, Mint, Angostura Bitters
Mojito Flor de Caña 4yr Rum, Lime, Mint, Angostura Bitters
Negroni Tanqueray Gin, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Campari, Regans’ Orange Bitters
Old Fashioned Rittenhouse 100 Rye, Demerara Syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters
Pegu Club Tanqueray, Lime, Marie Brizard Orange Curacao, Angostura Bitters
Perfect Martinez Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Dolin Sweet & Dry Vemouth, Luxardo Maraschino, Fees Orange Bitters
Presbyterian Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Lemon, Home Made Ginger Syrup
Ramos Gin Fizz Beefeater Gin, Lemon, Lime, Egg White, Cream, Orange Flower Water
Sazerac Jim Beam Rye, Maison Surrenne Cognac, Herbsaint, Peychaud’s Bitters
Sidecar Maison Surrenne Cognac, Lemon, Marie Brizard Orange Curacao, Fees Orange Bitters
Silver Sour Booze, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Egg White
Southside Tanqueray Gin, Lime, Mint, Peychaud’s Bitters
Tom Collins Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Lemon, Soda Water
Vieux Carre Maison Surrenne Cognac, Jim Beam Rye, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, Peychaud’s Bitters


I don't have pics of the cocktails, you will just have to use your imagination. Or go have a few.

Cheers,
Toby



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#318 rather be travelin'

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 05:02 PM

Will be in town next week - can't wait to have a Juliet & Romeo! With the help of Katie Loeb, Capogiro's highlighting it on our gelato cocktail menu! Huge hit, great drink.
"He was a bold man that first eat an oyster." -Jonathan Swift

#319 ShaunH

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 11:57 AM

My girlfriend and I were in Chicago over the past weekend for a wedding and were fortunate enough to work in two visits to The Violet Hour. The first was on Friday night at 9pm with two friends who aren't cocktail lovers, and the second was just the two of us on Monday right as the bar was opening. Two very different circumstances, but we had a great time on both occasions, and I even have a feeling our non-cocktailian friends (who live in Chicago) will be returning soon.

On our first visit, we were seated at a corner booth in the back room. The place is bigger than I thought it would be, but with the multiple rooms and nice use of curtains it still maintains a fairly intimate feeling. After getting some initial suggestions from us, our friends got some excellent guidance from the waitress and selected a couple of rum based drinks that I unfortunately forgot to note the specifics of. Suffice it to say they enjoyed them much more than I think they were expecting to.

I started with a Clapless Belle: Bulleit Bourbon, Lemon, Ginger Syrup, Laphroaig Scotch. This was delicious and well-balanced, and the ginger was not overpowering at all. My girlfriend asked for something tequila based and spicy (her favorite hobby is making tequila infusions with hot peppers of various kinds) and was given a Spanish Margarita: Herradura Plata, Lime, Licor 43, Hell-Fire Bitters. This brings me to my one major complaint about The Violet Hour - since their bitters aren't available commercially, I'm now dealing with the equivalent of a detoxing junkie jonesing for Hell-Fire Bitters. We had a few more rounds after that, but honestly, I did a poor job of keeping track of what else we had, as I hadn't seen my friends in many years and we got caught up in our conversation (I know, I know - I'm a failure as a boozehound). I'll just say this - for every round after the first, my girlfriend and I just gave the waitress a couple of keywords and put ourselves in the hands of the bartenders, and every time they did not disappoint.

On Monday we figured we'd shoot for a different kind of experience. We showed up around 6:15, were the first customers, and sat at the bar. As I'm sure my fellow cocktail geeks will agree, this is the best way to experience a place like this - develop a rapport with a bartender and let him or her take you on a journey. On this occasion I started with a Manhattan variant that was made with Wild Turkey and peach bitters and served with a lemon twist. Very tasty, and a great way to start the evening. I followed that with a Gun Shop: Sazerac Russell's Reserve 6yr Rye, Maison Surrenne Cognac, Peychaud's Bitters, with a Herbsaint rinse. A very tasty variation on the Sazerac. My girlfriend again went in the tequila direction, most deliciously with a Flaming Heart: Lunazul Blanco, Pineapple, Licor 43, Green Tabasco.

Unfortunately our bartender rapport strategy broke down a bit as more folks came in and the bartenders wound up in different spots than they started. I did have several other delicious cocktails, including a wonderfully refreshing Aviation to close out the evening. That's one of those classics that I overlook sometimes, but boy did it hit the spot (it came out after a request for something citrus-y and shaken as a refresher).

Overall, I heartily recommend TVH. I loved the sign hanging in the bathroom which indicated "No Jager Bombs, No O-Bombs, No Bombs of any kind". I believe Grey Goose and Cosmopolitans were also on the list of prohibited items. So if you're the type of person who finds those restrictions "snobby" or "elitist" then this probably isn't the spot for you, but if you're looking for great cocktails in a nice atmosphere you'll be right at home even if you're more of a casual drinker than a full-on cocktail geek. And for $12 a drink you can't go wrong, especially considering you get the excess from the shaker in a little side flask.

Finally, The Violet Hour is a great spot on its own merits, but if you really want to appreciate how good it is, I suggest attending a wedding on a day in between two visits. A few hours of function hall drinks places the excellence of TVH in even starker relief.

Full disclosure: Toby facilitated us getting a table in an efficient manner on our Friday visit. However, we paid for all of our drinks on both visits, and we were treated no differently than when we visited Monday, when we were total unknowns to the staff. I have no reason to think this review would read any differently had I never spoken with Toby.

#320 Alcuin

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 01:04 PM

This brings me to my one major complaint about The Violet Hour - since their bitters aren't available commercially, I'm now dealing with the equivalent of a detoxing junkie jonesing for Hell-Fire Bitters.


Agreed about the bitters. I really like the root beer bitters and was surprised at how much I liked the Great Speaker (thought it looked a bit sweet on the menu) which may be successful because of those coffee-pecan bitters. Wish I could get those. As for the hellfire bitters, I think they are a Charles Baker recipe, or at least he has a recipe for it I think. Not sure that TVH uses that recipe, but it exists so you could maybe concoct some yourself.
nunc est bibendum...

#321 KD1191

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 01:13 PM

Yes, there's a Hellfire Bitters recipe in Baker...though as with most of Baker, the recipe could be clearer. Here's an adaptation.

I'll add that the "rules" might come off a bit snooty, but for the most part they have their reasons. They can't make a Cosmo because they don't have cranberry juice. They don't have cranberry juice because they refuse to use juice they can't produce on-site.
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#322 Florida

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 12:02 PM

Had the opportunity to try TVH for the first time over the weekend and I must admit I found it to be quite impressive.

First of all, let me say I’m not a mixed drink/cocktail/hard liquor type of person. At times I might enjoy a sip of Bourbon, but beer is by far my drink of choice, so an establishment like TVH is not they type of place I would normally seek out. Secondly, I’m not a cocktail person, so I have no idea what the hell I am talking about when it comes to cocktails. Either forgive my cluelessness or just ignore me outright.

After a laboriously long wait, a wait which allowed us to try out Big Star across the street (which just so happens to currently have a nice hoppy one-off APA from GI on tap), we received our phone call allowing us access to TVH. Immediately upon entering TVH, everything else just seems to fade away. The insanely crowded door way, the hustle and bustle of Damen on a Saturday night, the noise, the street lights – everything is just gone. TVH is surprisingly spacious and subdued. There is a low hum of chatter which matches the blue hue that seems to radiate from everything. All of the tables are sufficiently spaced. No one is standing, or pushing, or crowding the bar. I guess having just come from Big Star, where there was standing, pushing, and crowding at the bar, the lack of all this stood out for me.

We were seated at the bar, which turned out to be the best place we could be, as our bartender truly made the visit for us. I ordered a Stewed, Screwed, and Tattooed, but my wife, who is less of a cocktail person than I am, hadn’t a clue what to order. She reviewed her likes and dislikes with the bartender and advised him of only one rule: no gin - to which he promptly made her a Juliet and Romeo. Despite the gin content, both my wife and I felt the J&R was exceptional, probably the best drink we had all night. I can only describe it as tasting like a “salad,” but in a good way. The SST was strongly flavored, boasting a good bit of spice and bitterness (apparently, in cocktail speak this is referred to as “dry”).

The next round was a Sazerac for myself. My wife had some sort of citrus-flavored Flip which wasn’t on the menu (sorry about the lack of details on this). Unfortunately she simply couldn’t handle this drink, but the bartender quickly remade a much more user friendly drink for her, which I also can’t remember the name of (damn drinks), though I can say it was light and floral. Not quite the J&R, but an excellent drink none-the-less.

Overall, TVH was very impressive. Our bartender was friendly, understanding, and genuinely cared about us having a good experience. He happy handled my ignorance and insolence like the professional he clearly was. If there is a single reason why I’d return to TVH, it would be him. I did not find TVH to be snobby in the least – actually I found it to be the exact opposite – warm and inviting, while still being modern and hip. In the end, as a beer geek, I can’t say TVH will be replacing my regular visits to Hopleaf or Revolution, but I can say TVH has given me a new appreciation for the world of cocktails and I hope to return sooner than later.


edited for grammar

Edited by Florida, 09 November 2010 - 12:04 PM.


#323 Big Country

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 08:34 PM

I spent the Weekend in Chicago and the Violet Hour was one of the many highlights!! I have had an opportunity to travel and dine out quite a bit in my life. In my opinion this is the best bar in America!! From the Cocktails to the Service to the warm Staff. I had 2 great experiences in 3 days there and will be back next time I am in Chicago. I am not going into Detail of all of the cocktails I had, frankly I can't remember them all. I do know they were all exceptional and I did prefer sitting at the bar rather than the table, but I wasn't on a romantic getaway either. Eden waited on me at the bar and was spot on on all of the drinks, she was very busy making drinks in the Service well for the floor but made plenty of time to chat with me and other customers at the bar. Thank you to all of the Bartenders, Management and Staff for such an incredible experience!!
It is easier to change a menu than a growing season.

#324 newbie21

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:13 AM

Great interview with Grant Achatz of Alinea and where he goes for cocktails....woo-hoooo!!


http://www.thefeast....-118255379.html

#325 Alex

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 09:44 AM

Great interview with Grant Achatz of Alinea and where he goes for cocktails....woo-hoooo!!


http://www.thefeast....-118255379.html

The actual link still has the ellipsis in it. Here's the full link. Thanks for the heads-up.
Gene Weingarten, writing in The Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

#326 newbie21

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 11:22 AM

Thanks!! :wink:

#327 Alchemist

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 01:01 PM

The Violet Hour Blog is up and running. We are going to be posting Punch techniques and recipes as they change. Summer is coming and it's time to get ready for BBQs.

http://partyondamen.com/


Cheers,
Toby



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE