Craig Schoettler’s drink menu at Drumbar (Raffaello Hotel, 201 E. Delaware Pl., 312-924-2531) debuted this month, putting his stamp on the ritzy rooftop cocktail lounge. Known as the brain originally in charge of the concept cocktails at Aviary, Schoettler brings a chef background—straight from culinary school to Alinea—to mixology. “For the time being, I feel like I can make a bigger mark in the beverage world than I can in the food industry,” he says. Drumbar’s drink menu contains three categories of cocktails: Classic (including an Old Fashioned and a Rob Roy), Specialty (such as the Mûre, with Paul Beau VS cognac, Bonne Maman blackberry jam, lime juice, espelette pepper, and ginger beer), and Progressive (the whizbang stuff he’s known for). Progressive cocktails are available only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when smaller crowds allow for the table space that some of the service pieces require, such as a smoking whiskey-barrel stave and a hot vacuum pot. “Fridays and Saturdays, when we are three-deep at the bar, I can’t just do it in midair,” Schoettler says. With Schoettler’s creative, sciencey approach, midair cocktail service sounds more like an opportunity than a limitation.
To Do: Next Tuesday, February 19, Troy Sidle of the New York cocktail bar Pouring Ribbons, a spiritual sibling of Drumbar, will guest-bartend, bringing his own specialties to showcase alongside Schoettler’s Progressive menu.
Photograph: Jennifer Contraveos