Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Effen Vodka and Architecture at the Wit

I’m often asked how I choose the events I go to. Sometimes it’s just a matter of timing and other times it’s something that just makes me stop and go “Wow, I’ve got to get there.” The Effen Vodka Party at the Wit Hotel the latter – and I wasn’t disappointed.

It was a first for me in many respects. I had never made it to Chicago’s Theatre District, never been to the Wit Hotel and had yet to learn about the rich architectural history of the Windy City. And how can you say “No” to an invitation that arrives on a USB drive accompanied by a bottle of vodka?! The one thing that was familiar to me was Effen Vodka. I had sampled it during My Flavored Vodka Party and was quite a fan of the black cherry.

The party took me to the rooftop of the Wit Hotel for one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen. It was a cool night so the party remained inside, where I was warmed by as much Effen as I wanted. Before I get to the plentiful drink selection with the incredible cocktail choices, I have to mention the other purpose of the party. It was to hear about Chicago’s plans for sustainable designs directly from one of its top architects, Jonathan Boyer of Farr Associates. The talk was interesting and informative, and easily understood as I looked at the beautiful skyscrapers in front of me.

Beam Global has never been one to shy away from the unusual cocktail (love that Red Stag with just about anything) and they were full of imagination with Effen for this night. There were four feature cocktails with anything else we could possibly want available. Here are three of the evening’s favorites…

Susaintable Sour
1.5 oz Effen Vodka
1 oz St. Germain
.5 oz Simple Syrup
.75 oz Fresh Lemon
Pour ingredients over ice, shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon and cherry.

Second City Sparkler
1 oz Effen Black Cherry
.5 oz Domaine De Canton
.5 oz Fresh Limon
Pour first three ingredients over ice, shake and strain into a champagne flute. Top with Prosecco and garnish with a lemon twist.

Green City Gimlet
1.5 oz Effen Vodka
.5 oz Cointreau
.75 oz Fresh Lime
2 Basil Leafs
Muddle one basil leaf and add remaining ingredients over ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf.

As usual, I was a bit stifled by the citrus allergy, but Wit mixologist Jonny Abens came through for me with a Limon-less Sparkler and a Gimlet with pineapple instead of lime. Both were incredible. I also have to give a shout out to the Wit’s unbelievable food – Apple and Bacon Pizza, Baked Fresh Ricotta and Grilled Lamb Burgers were just a few of the tasty treats.

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