You know, I never think I'm actually gonna finish another Pride issue and then, it all just falls into place. Well, it took a ton of work and lots of cooperation, timin g, inspiration, and planning. But you can't argue with results ( and if you can, I don't fuckin' wanna hear it.
One thing to which I do owe the completion of this issue is the lack of liquor in the past few weeks. My front passenger seat is littered with water bottle after water bottle graciously given to me by countless local bartenders after the initial astonishment of my having to refuse the drinks they wanted to provide me with. But as I told Erik at Rogers Park Social, "On Tuesday, buy all the blue cheese in Illinois, because I'm coming in for martinis." But a big thanks to all of you who kept me hydrated. To the right are just a few of the thirst-making events I witnessed putting this issue together.
But as all rules are defined by their exceptions, I did have one boozy hour in the midst of the chaos, but was one helluva hour. I stopped into Taverna 750, at the request of the adorable Robbie Baldwin and Joey Luna ( adjective applies to both ), to sample the new summer cocktail menu conceived by special guest celebrity mixologist Arnold Myint. You might recognize Arnold from his stint on Bravo's Top Chef Season 7, but his home city of Nashville heaps on many other accolades, including 2010 Best Chef or 2009 Best New Restaurant: Suzy Wong's House of Yum, both from Nashville Scene.
Myint came to Taverna with no preconceived notions for the new menu and instead chose to let the flavors and feels of the venue inspire him. Within a few days, he had whipped up a tantalizing list of liquors sure to keep you cool this summer. The Mezcal Punch boasts woody, earthy, absinthe-like qualities. Enjoy the Brazilian flair of the Cucumber Caparinha, containing real cachaca, limoncello, cucumber juice, rosemary syrup, lemon juice, and finishing with a kicky hint of mint. And if you're weary of the Bloody Mary, try Arnold's Celery Gin Rocks, made with Nolet's Silver Dry Gin and celery syrup. He describes it as "a new thing to sip on a Sunday morning," but I gotta tell ya, it was no slouch on a Thursday evening either.
So stop into Taverna 750 and say hi to Arnold ( or his alter ego Suzy Wong ) and savor the tastes of summer. Tell him Kirk sent you.
MAIN COVER IMAGE: The Nightspots menagerie. Photos by Marisa KM, Ross Forman, Ryan Kolodziej, Anthony Meade and Kirk
Cover pig Nick Zuko busying himself in my crotch for charity at Touche. Never afraid to get his hands dirty, this one.
All hugs and smiles with Kyle ( see, I remembered ) at the newly-christened Whiskey Trust.
The chicken-shirt sighting is like speaking the secret language of Roseanne. This dude at Big Chicks is fluent.