And as if to get this whole cocktail thing out of my system, I just read a piece from last Sunday’s LA Times travel section titled “Chicago, that tippling town.” In the piece, Krista Simmons, a self-proclaimed “native Angeleno” describes a boozy visit to the Windy City, the highlight of which, at least for fans of the culinary absurd, is a visit to the Aviary.
She writes, “The Aviary flips the traditional tasting menu on its head. Here, cocktails take center stage: They're served with nibbles that complement the drinks' flavor profiles. During the seven-course degustation, sips were sent out in architecturally inspired glassware. Ginger-spiked apple brandy cider arrived in a metal-lined glass canteen. Shortly after, a rocks glass encased by a plastic pillow was placed on my table, then cut open, sending forth a cloud of lavender-scented vapors. Then came a warm Rooibos tea cocktail (the Rooibos tea leaf hails from Africa) delivered in a coffee siphon. Using that device's vacuum pressure, the drink's gin and maraschino components were infused with flavors from lavender, citrus, cinnamon and the tea leaves.”