Located on the 20th floor of Conrad Chicago, Baptiste & Bottle enjoys unparalleled views of the city, but the establishment is so much more than a pretty vista. Renowned for its ambitious and unusual menu, Baptiste & Bottle is always stirring up new possibilities with its unique bar program. The man behind the magic is Beverage Director Michael Fawthrop, who is no stranger to ambitious projects, previously rolling out balloon-based cocktails at local bar Noyane.
Nothing is ever too elaborate at Baptiste & Bottle and in 2017, the bar elevated cocktail hour to a new level. The Macallan Rare Journey Cocktail—not just a singular cocktail but an entire experience—takes guests on a visual journey to the Macallan Cooperage in Scotland with the help of some VR gear. To set the scene, a wooden box containing an acorn is presented as patrons learn how trees are key to making this fine whiskey. Then comes a sip of sherry, that is vital to the seasoning of casks and provides the foundation of the fruity flavor of the liquor. A tasting of the Rare Cask follows—the second component to the Macallan Rare Journey Cocktail.
While the sherry and whiskey are mixed, the virtual-reality tech is deployed to complete the story. Cocktails are created tableside and poured into special glassware, fulfilling Baptiste & Bottle’s philosophy of “shaken, stirred and poured at your table”.
Without the headset, there is much to enthrall at this Chicago establishment. Earning its namesake, Baptiste & Bottle is a barrel bar at heart and the interior design is a contemporary twist on the American saloon. Influenced by Chicago’s former ‘Whiskey Row’ and its masculine tones and textures, the space features dark wood, aged metals, and bourbon and whiskey-inspired hues.
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