Hidden in a quirky clubhouse-style space in the back of the new Freehand "hipster hostel" in River North, The Broken Shaker Chicago is removed from its James Beard award-winning Miami predecessor by more than miles and climate. Although it features a greatest hits menu of sorts from Miami, most of the drinks are wholly original and Chicago-focused, and bar manager Freddie Sarkis' special Eater Cocktail Week drink is another case in point.
Naming it the "Sidewinder Collins," the cocktail is a Midwestern-themed beertail with corn in two ingredients and Miller High Life. "My inspiration is a back yard bonfire," Sarkis says. "The idea of autumn's early chill countered with a back yard fire, a little whiskey, and beer."
Sarkis infuses late-season white corn from a local farm into whiskey and in a reduction. He adds Old Forester bourbon, citrus, bitters, and the aforementioned Champagne of Beers before serving it in a slightly-larger Collins glass that's hand-painted by a local artist. They'll use dried pop corn in the drink when their fall menu launches later in the month.
The "Sidewinder Collins" is available all this week as an Eater Cocktail Week special for $10 at the River North cocktail stalwart.