Raising the Bar at Baptiste & Bottle in Chicago

Sky-high bar Baptiste & Bottle takes mixology to new creative heights with its virtual-reality cocktail experience.

Located on the 20th floor of Conrad ChicagoBaptiste & Bottle enjoys unparalleled views of the Windy City, but it’s the virtual view many guests will end up talking about.

Renowned for its ambitious and unusual menu, Baptiste & Bottle is always stirring up new possibilities with its unique bar program.

And that includes just how people enjoy their bourbon-centric cocktails, the bar’s speciality.

Heralded as the country’s first virtual reality cocktail, The Macallan Rare Journey takes guests on a visual journey to the Macallan cooperage in Scotland, exploring oak forests, vineyards, sherry bodegas and The Macallan distillery and Easter Elchies house, which appears on every bottle of Macallan.

To set the scene, a wooden box containing an acorn is presented as patrons learn how trees are key to making this fine whisky. 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.

Sky-high bar Baptiste & Bottle takes mixology to new creative heights with its virtual-reality cocktail experience.

Sky-high bar Baptiste & Bottle takes mixology to new creative heights with its virtual-reality cocktail experience.

A tasting of the Macallan Rare Cask single malt scotch whisky follows—the second component to the Macallan Rare Journey Cocktail.

While the sherry and whisky 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.”

The man behind all the magic is Beverage Director Michael Fawthrop, who is no stranger to ambitious projects, previously rolling out balloon-based cocktails at Japanese-themed rooftop bar Noyane, also at the Conrad Chicago.

Both Batiste & Bottle and Noyane are concepts created by renowned Chef Richard Sandoval.

Without the headset, there is still plenty to enthrall guests inside 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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