Chicago Style, the conference for bartenders and other beverage professionals, returns next week for its second year in the West Loop. The women-led event (May 6 to May 9 at the Ace Hotel) brings together top talent to address industry issues with workshops covering political activism, welcoming formerly incarcerated employees into the workforce, and the environment. To close out the event, organizers have brought the London bartenders behind the No. 1 cocktail bar on the World’s 50 Best Bars list to hold a pop-up.
The event, Thursday, May 9 at the Blind Barber in Fulton Market, is open to the public, even for those without tickets to the conference. Tickets for the seminars are available here.
Ryan Chetiyawardana and Iain Griffiths of Lyan Company run several bars including Dandelyan, a sleek cocktail bar in London near the banks of the River Thames. Dandelyan, known for its creative use of plants in its drinks, was ranked as the top bar in the world in 2018. It closed in December and has gone through a transformation, not too unlike Alinea did with its own remodel. The bar was renamed as Lyaness and is back open. Chetiyawardana has been voted World’s Best Bartender. His next project is his first U.S. bar. Silver Lyan should arrive in November in Washington, D.C.
The Chicago pop-up is called Zombie Lyan, a mash-up of Chetiyawardana’s bar menus (they’re resurrecting classic drinks from all of his bars). Chetiyawardana is known as “Mr Lyan” and his bars have a theme. Dandelyan focused on botany. White Lyan features drinks without ice or citrus. Zombie Lyan isn’t just about the undead, but it’s about the classic zombie cocktail.
Many Chicagoans during the winter feel like zombies and the city poses a unique challenge for bartenders or chefs who just arrive. Finding the right produce is difficult for those not used to Chicago’s frigid Midwestern temperatures. Not that London is a tropical oasis. Chetiyawardana said he’s comfortable with “capturing, preserving, and manipulating ingredients to take them at their peaks.” The pop-up with mostly feature lighter-, brighter-style drinks reflective of Chicago in May.
“This also allows us to demonstrate a side to a whisky and a gin that people might not expect,” he said. “We also then had the chance to riff on some local flavors and favorites using some local produce to give it a real seasonal stamp.”
One of those local flavors is the Chicago-style hot dog. A drink, the “Chicago Hot Dog ONO,” features whisky, poppy seed, tomato grenadine, and celery seed soda. Customers can order it with pickles (in this case pickled lemon, cucumber, or pineapple), charred (smoked), or “dragged through the garden.”
Check out the full drink list below. Again, the May 9 pop-up is open to the public.
Beeswax Old Fashioned
Westward Whiskey, beeswax, sugar, bitters
Fords Gin, lager sizzurp, smoke, elderflower
Greener Grass Fizz
Westward Whiskey, gem lettuce, millet, lemon, absinthe
Westward Whiskey, Fords Gin, burnt citrus Campari, vermouth, soda
ML Sandwich Bar presents: “Chicago Hot Dog ONO”
Westward Whiskey, poppy seed, tomato grenadine, celery seed soda
- With pickles (pickled lemon, cucumber, pineapple)
- Charred (smoke)
- Oh no mega mix (buckfast and questionable decisions)
- Dragged through the garden (Libecans-style “extra everything”)
Birdwatcher (“What is this? Tinker Tailor Soldier C****?”)
Westward Whiskey, kinda lemons, redacted sugar, peach leaf bitters. Krogstad cherries
Shots Shots Shots
Chewy — brown edition
(Westward Whiskey, banana, palo cortado)
Chewy — white edition
(Fords Gin, fino, banana)
(Oh no Scottish Tonic Wine)