Shawn Thompson – No. 33 (Wathen’s)

On July 8, 2014 by Paul

No. 33

I am guilty of seeing Twisted Spoke just as a shot and beer bar. I have had great times there. They have great food, beer, and their whiskey collection is one of the best in the city. When Shawn made the cocktails for me, I was expecting straight-forward cocktails but was amazed by the complexity and flavors that went into the cocktails. This one was a difficult one to record as I had forgotten my tripod at home and was a tight space.

For a “biker-bar,” Twisted Spoke really surprises a lot of people by the finesse and innovation they have with their cocktail program.

The bar, which is celebrating it’s 19th year in April, was formerly a garage that specialized in motorcycle repair and while both owners of the bar own motorcycles, the bar isn’t really a designated biker-bar. “We really cater to anyone that comes through the door,” says bar manager, Shawn Thompson.

In fact anyone who walks in the door will first notice the amazing whiskey collection they have. With 540 bottles on their shelf, they certainly have one of the bigger lists in the city, if not the country. Their half-priced whiskey night on Wednesdays is certainly one of the best ways to try an obscure or small-batch whiskey (and, if you are not careful, guarantee a nice hangover on Thursday).

Today, Thompson demonstrates the making of a holiday-themed cocktail he simply calls the No. 33. As Thompson explains, they tried using various names and descriptions with their cocktails, but he would notice them being returned. “It’s gotten to be that everyone is doing these snarky comments that I can’t read anymore,” he explains. “It’s just a drink, so I decided to come up with numbers. That way, the staff explains and sells the drink and there is nothing left to interpretation.”

Whether people order a No. 33, 83, or any of the other numbered cocktails on their list, Twisted Spoke is still number one with many people in the city of Chicago.

No. 33 (Wathen’s)
1-1/2 ounces Wathen’s Bourbon
3/4 ounce Amargo-Vallet Angostura Liqueur
1/2 ounce Habanero/Thai Chili syrup
1/2 tablespoon Cranberry-raspberry syrup
1/2 ounce Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
2-3 ounces Ginger Ale
Lemongrass-ginger foam

Add first five ingredients to a shaker tin. Add ice and shake.
Strain into a ice filled rocks glass, top with ginger ale and
lemongrass-ginger foam.

Shawn Thompson (Twisted Spoke) – No. 33 (Wathens) Cocktail from Chicago Cocktail Chronicles on Vimeo.

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