We at Home + Garden love all things architecture, but we also have our limits. So when I say that the Willis Tower tastes like passionfruit, trust me that I did not just lick it. Rather, Cityscape Bar on the 15th floor of the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza is rolling out its Architectural Martini Tour today—a selection of eight new drinks inspired by buildings visible from its perch. I sat down with Anthony Langan, the brains behind the libations, to taste the skyline. Let’s just say that I have a new appreciation for 333 W. Wacker.
Merchandise Mart: “The Classic Mart-ini”
Puns aside, this no-frills, crisp gin martini drips with fashion and all things high-end. Langan’s mind was on the Mart’s furniture, luxury bath, and kitchen showrooms when he crafted the strongest drink of the batch.
Boeing International Headquarters: “Mile High Martini”
With one of the most innovative structures in the country, and its connection to aviation, the Boeing HQ demanded a sexy, playful drink. Its clean, tart berry flavor and the candied lime on the rim deliver delicious fun.
Carbide & Carbon Building: “The Elemental Bellini”
Legend has it that the sons of Daniel Burnham designed C&C to look like a champagne bottle with a gold foil top. Cityscape added a dab of peach puree to make a Bellini that’s still bubbly-focused.
Civic Opera House: “Insull’s Throne”
The opera house was allegedly built like a chair to be the “throne” of the architect’s daughter, so she can turn her back on the New York ballet that spurned her—and nothing says “spurned” like whiskey. This drink surprises, though, with Peach Schnapps and mixers that make it really juicy and refreshing.
333 W. Wacker Drive: “The River Below”
Built to mirror its surroundings, 333 W. Wacker reflects the river, and so does this concoction. Peppermint Schnapps and mint create a cool taste that makes this coffee drink surprisingly light, while Kahlua and Bailey’s add to the muddiness.
Willis Tower: “Skyy Deck”
Get it? Perhaps more exotic than the view itself, this blend of passionfruit vodka, Peach Schnapps, and orange and lemon juices evolves fantastically.
John Hancock Center: “Streeterville Dirty Martini”
This shining example of the structural expressionist style stands on a landfill, so Langan went for a “reclaimed from the lake” vibe. Ipso facto, your classic dirty martini, chockfull of olive-y goodness.
R.R. Donnelley Building: “Energy Beam”
After dark, it’s the home of 540 high-intensity lights; you’ll feel the same from this caffeine and taurine-infused vodka base. It’s a grenadine treat that’s more akin to a cherry lollipop than an actual cherry.
If your favorite building is not on the menu, Langan says Cityscape would be happy to invent a drink for any structure you request.