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chicago: land of the cubbies, deep-dish pizza, and that big silver bean. lesser known is that the windy city also houses gq’s #3 cocktail bar in america. months before the list was published, i had already made plans to hijack a friend’s family christmas vacation in chi-city. the instant we landed at o’hare, it was a straight shot on the L to the unmarked doors of the violet hour.  mixologist andrew recognized my plight of having braved the bitter cold and served up a hot toddy featuring fernet, bourbon, honey and lemon.  while devising a name for said drink, i remarked that it reminded me of that soothing feeling when one puts their hands in a warm place (i’ll leave that one up to interpretation).  next up?  a challenge of biblical proportions.  back in september, the name for a cocktail was born in the parking lot of atlanta’s very own house of hootch, the sound table.  with nothing more than a concept, i asked andrew to craft a drink that could live up to its name: the shaken baby jesus. what arrived in front of me was nothing less than a masterpiece; atonement manifested through flaming chartreuse, flor de caña, angostura, pineapple, lime, and three drops of peychaud’s (after all, who would jesus be without nails on the crucifix?) tasting more like a tropical baby jesus, flaming monks and nine inch nails produced the most delectable chartreuse experience i’ve had to date.  i’m pretty sure i’m going to hell after this, but i’ll see you there, cocktail in hand.

cocktail catechism