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The Violet Hour


Alchemist
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I have recently been exposed to The Scarlet Ibis. It was late (5:30 am) and I was having my shift drink (flor de cana 7 yr w/one cube) when I noticed the bartender drinking rum from a bottle with a peculiarly simple label (for rum, that is). Of course I asked about it and had some. I found it interesting that it's made in trinidad but bottled in austria. Even boasts the same enclosure as st. elizabeth all-spice dram.

Oh. My. God.

So, the question is, does TVH keep it behind the bar? I haven't been in for a few weeks due to economic reasons...but if they have it, I'll be drinking it.

Toby - have you tinkered with it? Found any golden uses other than drinking it alone?

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It's actually a new Old Tom Gin called Ransom.

They don't have that here in Nashville, Damnit.

Toby

Thanks for the info. From what little I had of it, I really want some but I don't think I'll be finding it around these parts either.

nunc est bibendum...

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Thanks to the info here I was at the TVH Sunday night for the first time. I get to Chicago about 4-5 times a year from Dallas and needed a good lounge to go with the great restaurants around. So after a meal at Bristol we went the five blocks South and secured a parking place out front. The place was only half full when we arrived at nine but was packed when we left at 10:30. It is like a very cool night club where you can actually have a conversation without the noise level you encounter in most places. I was in the mood for a more intimate conversation so took a seat in the front room but still had a view of the bartenders in action. I also like the fact that they control the crowd level there. I had the Juliet and Romeo made with Hendricks gin and then went to the Velvet Fog. I think I will try that little trick with lighting the orange at home. All in all, a very enjoyable visit which I will return to each time I am in town.

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So, the question is, does TVH keep it behind the bar?  I haven't been in for a few weeks due to economic reasons...but if they have it, I'll be drinking it. 

Yes, TVH has The Scarlet Ibis. Hank was mixing drinks with it for my wife and I last Thursday. Very different stuff. I can't remember what was in the cocktail, but I think maybe cynar...and coffee bitters...I could be completely misremembering, though.

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spring has sprung.

Here is a preview of what might be close to what is in store.

The Violet Hour

Spring ’09 Cocktail List

Gin

Sitting Limbo Beefeater, Pineapple, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Apry

Juliet & Romeo Beefeater, Mint, Cucumber, Rose Water

The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Bombay Dry, Lemon, House Made Honey Syrup, La Muse Verte Absinthe, House Orange Bitters

Cymbeline Plymouth, Lemon, Egg White, Jasmine White Wine

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

Golden Gate 24 Anchor Distillery Genvieve, Lemon, Egg Yolk, Briottet Cassis, Fees Old Fashioned Bitters

Rum

Bula Mai Tai El Dorado 5yr, Lime, House Made Roasted Orgeat

The World Cup Mae de Oro Cachaça, Lime, Tangerine, Amaro Nonino, Regans Orange Bitters

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

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

La Goutte d’Or Scarlett Ibis, Punt e Mes, Yellow Chartreuse, Spring Bitters

Whiskey

Manhattan Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Angostura Bitters

Eyes Wide Bulleit Bourbon , Grapefruit, House Made Raspberry Syrup, Hibiscus Syrup

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

Harlan County Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Lime, Apricot Liqueur, Spring Bitters

Seeing Traces Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Lemon, Egg White, Lillet Blonde, House Made Ginger Syrup, Orange Flower Water

Brooklyn Rittenhouse Rye, Noilly Pratt Dry Vermouth, House Made Amer Picon, Luxardo Maraschino, Cherry Bitters

Tequila

Spanish Margarita Herradura Silver, Lime, Licor 43, Hell-fire Bitters

The Hummingbird Herradura Silver, Lemon, Egg White, Cherry Heering

The Aleph El Tesoro Blanco, Luxardo Maraschino, Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal

Brandy

Sidecar Maison Surrenne Cognac, Lemon, Cointreau

Beatriz Sheets Uvina Pisco, Lemon, Egg White, Chamomile

The Elder Jack Laird’s Applejack, Lime, St. Germain, House Made Grenadine, House Orange Bitters

Spring Sazerac Maison Surrenne Cognac, House Made Orange Curacao, Kubler Absinthe, Spring Bitters

Potable Bitters

Pimms Cup Variation Pimms #1, Lemon St. Germain, Mint, Grapefruit Bitters

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

Roman Holiday Amaro Montenegro, Amaro Lucano, Lemon, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Regan Orange Bitters

Vodka

Moscow Mule Tito's, Lime, House Made Ginger Syrup, Soda Water

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

Gilded Cage Tito's, Lemon, Egg White, Honey Syrup, Regans Orange Bitters

Wine and Sparkling

Champagne Cocktail Gruet Sparkling, Sugar Cube, Angostura Bitters

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

Spring Sangria Rosé Wine, Aperol, Peach, Grapefruit, Pear

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

The Libertine Gruet Sparkling, Lemon, Pernod Absinthe, Plymouth Sloe Gin

Some favorites, and a bunch of new ones. The crew of TVH is really putting out some amazing cocktails each season. I am always impressed and humbled by the creativity and passion that goes into the making of each list. Please note that the Cordial section is gone and we now have a POTABLE BITTERS section. It was a long time coming.

Cheers,

Toby

p.s I am sorry taht I am too tired to reformat, and BOLD in the proper places.

Edited by Alchemist (log)

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Spring has sprung.

Here is a preview of what might be close to what is in store.

The Violet Hour

Spring ’09 Cocktail List

I'll be there in exactly one week. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to my visit here, Toby. If I had to guess now what I'll be ordering off this menu, I'd say:

Juliet & Romeo Beefeater, Mint, Cucumber, Rose Water

Eyes Wide Bulleit Bourbon , Grapefruit, House Made Raspberry Syrup, Hibiscus Syrup

La Goutte d’Or Scarlett Ibis, Punt e Mes, Yellow Chartreuse, Spring Bitters

"A woman once drove me to drink and I never had the decency to thank her" - W.C. Fields

Thanks, The Hopry

http://thehopry.com/

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Spring has sprung.

Here is a preview of what might be close to what is in store.

The Violet Hour

Spring ’09 Cocktail List

I'll be there in exactly one week. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to my visit here, Toby. If I had to guess now what I'll be ordering off this menu, I'd say:

Juliet & Romeo Beefeater, Mint, Cucumber, Rose Water

Eyes Wide Bulleit Bourbon , Grapefruit, House Made Raspberry Syrup, Hibiscus Syrup

La Goutte d’Or Scarlett Ibis, Punt e Mes, Yellow Chartreuse, Spring Bitters

I am not sure when the spring menu will go in effect. The Juliet & Romeo, and Eyes Wide will be available, as they are on this menu as well. I belive that there is a search for the perfect amaro for the La Goutte d'Or is going on as we speak. Not sure when it will be ready.

Toby

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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I've got some pictures - one in partic that is fabulous - from our visit to TVH on Sunday, March 29th. Me and the fella are from Philly, and The Violet Hour came highly recommended by our pal Katie Loeb. So, visit we did and we had a lovely lovely time under the friendly care of Troy and Stephen.

The pictures will come later this week when i get to downloading them.

In the interim, I will say that our respective Manhattans (me Brooklyn, him Woolworths) were wonderful with a tip to the Woolworth and the root beer bitters. I much preferred that one.

We moved on to (him) Man's Ruin and me, I wanted to try something fizzy with eggwhites so Stephen suggested the Iron Cross which Troy supplied. I was enamored with the rose water on the ice cube action for the man's ruin. I loved the beautiful presentation of the Iron Cross (i know,i know, this post is worthless without pictures) and I have absolutely no idea what was in it .

We snacked on the tempura cocktail onions: great! And the mini dogs (two chicago dogs, and the other two had cashews and pickled onions and a mustard that tasted, i dunno, like dill? maybe?)

It was relatively open at about 6:30 in the evening, but just about full at 10;15 when we left.

I find the price point of $12 per cocktail astounding.

I was in love with the mood of the place - hip, lovely, elegant, but not intimidating.

Thank you Tobey and your gang!

- julie

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I loved the beautiful presentation of the Iron Cross (i know,i know, this post is worthless without pictures) and I have absolutely no idea what was in it .

The Iron Cross is a pisco sour variation. There's a video of Toby making it

.

Hey Toby, a question I saw come up elsewhere...are TVH's eggs pasteurized?

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

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The eggs at TVH are thoroughly washed, but not pasteurized.

I read up on eggs and found oout that Sam was on the outside, so we wash the outside and drop the inside directly into booze.

Toby

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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It's actually a new Old Tom Gin called Ransom.

They don't have that here in Nashville, Damnit.

Toby

I tried the Ransom old tom gin...it's very...special. Personally, though, I think they should just stick to wine.

Also, Richard Betts (of Betts and Scholl) will be releasing his own MEZCAL sometime this fall. He was in for dinner where i work the other night and dropped that on the staff as he was saying goodnight. First he's off to Australia to make The Chronique, then he's heading to mexico!

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I finally made it to The Violet Hour last Saturday night after arriving in Chicago. I called Toby to let him know I’d made it to town and he graciously called in a reservation for me at the bar. I didn’t want to sit anywhere else – otherwise I wouldn’t get to see one of my favorite crafts done right in front of me. After eating the mushroom pasta at Francesca’s Forno (which Toby highly recommended), I arrived just moments before the doors opened. Making my way through the inconspicuous entry, I was led right to the bar where I was introduced to Troy, who would be my bartender for the evening. He was very cordial and had no problem walking me through some ideas for a first cocktail.

Lit only by numerous candles and beautiful chandeliers, TVH felt like more like an opium den than a bar. Everything was meticulously placed, wonderfully laid out, and the bar was loaded with various bottles, shakers, and bitters. I’d also like to point out that they had some really great music playing: Bill Callahan, Radiohead, and several others I’ve since forgotten. It was at this point I knew I was in a place I’d love. AND I was in Chicago – so it doesn’t get any better than that.

It was time to get some drinking done. Have you ever geeked out so much in a place like this that you didn’t even know where to begin when it came to ordering? Well I did. I wanted to say “just start at the top and make one of everything.” Troy, knowing that I was having some trouble deciding on a cocktail, poured me a small amount of Carpano Antica to whet my palate while I perused the amazing menu. That stuff alone is enough to make a person smile. After about five minutes of pondering I went with the Juliet & Romeo. I had read about this one previously and the components really interested me.

At this point I was able to close the menu and just absorb everything around me. Of course, being the booze/cocktail geek I am I vigilantly inspected just about every bottle on display. Finding bottles of Chartreuse VEP, various high-end Amaros, and an almost endless amount of house-made bitters, it wasn’t very hard to get excited about this visit. Soon my Juliet & Romeo was placed in front of me. As quickly as it was placed on the napkin in front of me I could smell the mint and rose water. It was heavenly. But then I took a sip and it got even better. What a fantastic cocktail!

After only twenty minutes I had pretty much inhaled the Juliet & Romeo and it was time to go for something a bit more strong and manly. With my mind on indecisive geeky overload, I decided on a simple old-fashioned cocktail with a big twist of orange. I lamented over this decision afterwards because I really should have gone with something I can’t make at home, but it was a very good cocktail nonetheless. It was a bit strong, which is good because it really made me slow down my drinking. And after spending eight hours in the car, I just wanted something to numb my body and put me in a tranquil state.

By the time I was done with my old-fashioned I was pretty exhausted and it pushed me to the point of envisioning my nice hotel bed that awaited me. It was time to settle up and head out the door. I guess in retrospect I should have stayed a bit longer, but I truly enjoyed myself a lot and have the utmost respect for what this crew does on a daily basis. The next time I am in Chicago I will most definitely go back and do it all over again.

Thank you Toby and Troy for a great experience. It was a very inspiring visit.

"A woman once drove me to drink and I never had the decency to thank her" - W.C. Fields

Thanks, The Hopry

http://thehopry.com/

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is probably a stupid question, but in case anyone knows anything: is there any reason to suppose TVH will be anything other than open on Memorial Day weekend? We're planning a trip from out of town, but TVH would be a big part of the weekend, so it would be pretty disappointing if it happened to be closed/private parties/anything like that.

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This is probably a stupid question, but in case anyone knows anything: is there any reason to suppose TVH will be anything other than open on Memorial Day weekend? We're planning a trip from out of town, but TVH would be a big part of the weekend, so it would be pretty disappointing if it happened to be closed/private parties/anything like that.

They haven't been closed on Memorial Day in the past, but I can't speak for any private parties that may have been scheduled. If you're coming in for the whole weekend, I think you'll be able to get in. Enjoy!!!

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  • 1 month later...

So summer is upon us again. We have just celebrated our 2 year anniversary. It has been a wonderful ride. I can't thank our supporters enough.

Here is what the Summer menu will look like. It should go into effect in about a week, so I am giving y'all a preview.

The Violet Hour

Summer ’09 Cocktail List

Gin

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

Sitting Limbo Beefeater, Pineapple, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Apry

Juliet & Romeo Beefeater, Mint, Cucumber, Rose Water

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

The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Bombay Dry, Lemon, House Made Honey Syrup, La Muse Verte Absinthe, House Orange Bitters

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

Summer Negroni Tanqueray, Cinzano Bianco Vermouth, Campari, Angostura Orange Bitters

Rum

Bula Mai Tai El Dorado 5yr, Lime, House Made Roasted Orgeat

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

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

Kingston Claret Brugal Anejo, Lime, Scott Harvey Barbera, Jerk Bitters

Ti Punch Rhum La Favorite Blanc, Lime, Cane Syrup

Whiskey

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

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

Harlan County Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Lime, Apricot Liqueur, Tangerine Bitters

Brooklyn Rittenhouse Rye, Noilly Pratt Dry Vermouth, House Made Amer Picon, Luxardo Maraschino, Cherry Bitters

Sarsaparilla Sling Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Lemon, Amaro Ciociaro, Sarsaparilla Syrup,

Root Beer Bitters

Dogwood Manhattan Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth, Amaro Nonino, House Peach Bitters

New Carré Death’s Door White Whiskey, Pisco Biondi Italia, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Benadictine, Summer Bitters

Tequila

Spanish Margarita Herradura Silver, Lime, Licor 43, Hell-fire Bitters

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

The Hummingbird Herradura Silver, Lemon, Egg White, Cherry Heering

Tequila Old Fashioned Herradura Silver, Simple Syrup, 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

Prescription Smash Laird’s Bonded Applejack, Lemon, Demerara Syrup, Mint, Orange Flower Water

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 Pimms #1, Lemon, St. Germain, Mint, Grapefruit Bitters

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

Vodka

Moscow Mule Tito's, Lime, House Made Ginger Syrup, Soda Water

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

Gilded Cage Tito's, Lemon, Egg White, Honey Syrup, Regans Orange Bitters

Wine and Sparkling

Champagne Cocktail Gruet Sparkling, Sugar Cube, Angostura Bitters

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

Summer Sangria White Wine, Peaches, Blueberries, Violette Liquer, Apples, Cherries, Grapefruit Bitters

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

The Libertine Gruet Sparkling, Lemon, Pernod Absinthe, Plymouth Sloe Gin

Summer Punches

Rocky Mountain Punch Barbancourt Rhum, Lemon, Maraschino Liqueur, Gruet Sparking, Angostura Bitters

Pisco Punch Montesierpe Pisco Acholado, Lime, Pineapple Syrup,

Miramar Bitters

Jonestown Punch Jim Beam Rye Whiskey, Lemon, Apry, Red Zinger Tea,

Regans’ Orange Bitters

Gotta run.

Toby

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Thanks for the preview. Happy to see another Fernet drink, house-made tonic and two intriguing uses for Angostura Orange.

Couple questions: are you making the sarsaparilla syrup (or using Fee's)? What about the cassis?

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

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Thanks for the preview.  Happy to see another Fernet drink, house-made tonic and two intriguing uses for Angostura Orange.

Couple questions: are you making the sarsaparilla syrup (or using Fee's)?  What about the cassis?

We are making our Sarsaparilla Syrup in House from some amazing stuff we got from Terra Spice. The Tonic Syrup is also home made and really cool when mixed with the lavender. The Indian Summer is Awesome!!!

I do not remember the brand of Cassis. Briotte? Maybe?

I am really Psyched about this menu. There are some things that the staff came up with that blew my mind. The Tongue & Cheek is way too drinkable. Who would have thought that Carpano and strawberries was a good idea?

I think all the drinks are amazing and would love to hear your feedback.

Cheers,

Toby.

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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I think all the drinks are amazing and would love to hear your feedback.

Cheers,

Toby.

My feedback is that the summer menu looks great. And I wish I was drinking some of it here in New York :laugh: .

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I think all the drinks are amazing and would love to hear your feedback.

They sound great and I cannot wait to try a few out. I'm heading to TVH next week, which seems like especially fortunate timing.

=R=

Edited by ronnie_suburban (log)

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Just got back from TVH, and amongst other things, I tried the Tongue in Cheek from the summer menu. The strawberry was prominent, and it was slightly tart and very refreshing, but the whiskey was still there; it wasn't overpowered by the fruit and vermouth. A great drink...

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Made it to TVH last night and sampled several things off the new menu.

I started off with the Summer Negroni, which really hit the spot. My initial reaction was somewhat skeptical at the minimal amount of Campari involved, but it really makes this drink present more like a Bronx or an Income Tax. I tried a bit of the Cinzano Bianco on its own, and that confirmed my feeling...it is surprisingly sweet, but also has plenty of the more herbal notes I associate with dry vermouth...it's playing both parts (well), while the hint of Campari and the Ango Orange are just enough to float the orange flavor in the background. I think this drink is pretty much perfect, but then the Bronx is my favorite classic cocktail.

I also tried the Tounge in Cheek, and it was delicious if a tad too sweet (Henry made mine, and I think it was the first he'd done, so maybe he corrected later in the evening making MikeHartnett's a bit tart? Or, perhaps it's the quality of the individual strawberries coming out in the drink? Or, maybe I'd just been drinking a Negroni, and anything would have been a bit too sweet?). The combination of the Antica and strawberry is beguiling, and it leads right into the nice minty finish. I could taste everything but the bourbon, which is dangerous. I'm not sure how much better it can get, given that we're reaching the end of the really good strawberry season, but I have a feeling this will be a crowd favorite.

My wife had the Tequila Mockingbird, which she proclaimed to be excellent. I tried a sip, and the sour of the lemon, spice of the chartreuse and bright peppermint interplayed quite brilliantly.

All in all, a great debut for the new menu. Lots of good hold overs from Spring, too (i.e. Harlan County, Dogwood).

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

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Kyle made my Tongue in Cheek, which may account for the differences. The tartness was present, but not assertive, and I could definitely taste the bourbon. I quite enjoyed it. I also had the Art of Choke, which is Kyle's drink, and it was fantastic. It has-- unfortunately-- convinced me that I need to buy both Green Chartreuse and Cynar.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Stopped by for a couple drinks on my birthday on Tuesday, only had one drink off the new menu:

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

Indian Summer : Gin & Tonic :: Cuba Libre : Rum & Coke

The Indian Summer won't knock your socks off, its superiority is subtle, even familiar. It's what you've been imagining gin and tonic should taste like all along. And, what it will do is ruin you for plain G&T for a good long while.

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

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  • 1 month later...

I went in this past monday, as I do every monday, having heard of a cocktail that I wasn't familiar with. It's a drink that Kyle and Steven came up with together (to my knowledge at least) entitled The Bitter Guisseppe. It consists of Cynar, Carpano Antica and a bar spoon of lemon juice.

yes, it's bitter.

yes, the antica sweetens it nicely

yes, it has plenty of acid.

But is it also delicious?

YES.

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