The heat is on, ladies and gentlemen! And not a moment too soon. After the long snowy winter, after the grey chilly spring, it is now time to frolic in the sun, wear flip flops and sundresses and indulge in delicious summer cocktails. On those hazy summer evenings, when the cicadas sing, what is your favorite refreshing sipper?
Chicago is home to many talented mixologists, who this time of year are trying to outdo each other, using seasonal ingredients at the peak of freshness. But my heart (and coincidentally, glass…) belongs to the one and only Ms. Sarah Busen, bar manager of the Tiny Lounge.
Sarah is known to us, her regulars, as The Bartender Goddess. Armed with a martini shaker, killer smile and remarkable memory for faces and drinks, she rules the roost behind the bar at Tiny Lounge.
Sarah’s energy is infectious and her ability to custom make a cocktail is legendary. With people placing orders like: “Something that tastes like Sunday morning” or “A taste of childhood, please,” Sarah welcomes any challenge. Her background in metal smithing (!!!) and jewelry design made her fearless in the creative process.
She thinks outside the box, loves to drink whiskey craft cocktails but is just as at home with a cold beer. Her 16 years of bar experience shine through in her signature drinks. Some of my favorites are Chimichurri Bloody Mary (green Bloody Mary, delicious anytime), Tito’s Hammock (her first drink on Tiny Lounge menu, a refreshing cucumber-lemon sipper) and Sarah’s Sour Mash (fresh peaches and whiskey concoction to die for). But I digress…
Let me introduce you to Sarah’s latest creation and most certainly Summer 2011 signature drink: The Basilico. Torn fresh basil shaken with Tito’s vodka, Mathilde Poire pear liqueur, fresh squeezed lemon juice and a dash of simple syrup, double strained over rocks and topped with cava. Ahhhhhhhh… refreshing! The aroma of basil, the tartness of lemon, the sweetness of pear liqueur and the happy bubbly topper. In a word, perfection.
So, on those hazy summer nights, skip your usual haunt, head over to the Tiny Lounge patio and order The Basilico from Sarah. Tell her Gourmet Rambler sent you. Then kick back, take a sip and feel easy… like Sunday morning. That’s how God (and Sarah) intended it.
Hungry? Want more? Follow me on Twitter at Gourmet Rambler.