Since leaving Drumbar, Benjamin Newby has essentially become a freelance beverage consultant and brand architect for Hennessy Black, branding himself with an LLC. His latest move is implementing a spring cocktail menu and tweaking existing cocktails at Taverna 750, mere feet off the Halsted strip on Cornelia Avenue. He has implemented six seasonal creations available through the end of summer and will roll out a patio beverage menu when the weather turns.
The cocktails are playful and fruit-forward, implementing some high-end twists. The tequila-based "Smoky Paloma" is paired with housemade grapefruitcello, bottled overnight, and served in a smoking glass over a vanilla-bourbon ice cube the size of a softball with a sidecar in a fishbowl of ice. "San Remo" is like pink saccharine, topped with strawberry tea foam reminiscent of cotton candy. "Pisco 750" is where a punch meets sour, mixing housemade pistachio liqueur with egg white and frozen pineapple, and the "Italian Cream Soda" is a nod to a candy shop with booze, topped with Averna-infused whipping cream.
Taverna 750's original cocktail menu was more martini-centered and tweaked by Charles Joly, now running The Aviary. Newby is also rolling out new cocktails and neighboring Scarlet, around the corner on Halsted. The full Taverna 750 drink list should be available soon on the website.
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