Death's Door

Last week was freezing in Chicago but a windchill of -16 degrees didn't stop me from attending a Supper Club event at City Provisions in Ravenswood last Wednesday night. City Provisions is a catering company focused on a commitment to the community that comes through in their product which tastes excellent and is organic and mostly local. City Provisions also does a monthly supper club featuring local farms, wineries, breweries and distilleries.

Last Wednesdsay the featured partner was Death's Door Spirits. This is a company that grows all of its wheat on Washington Island which is located in in Lake Michigan near Door County, Wisconsin. All of the ingredients in Death's Door's spirits are sourced as locally as possible and are pesticide free and organic. They also happen to come together to make some fantastic cocktails.

The Supper Club featured 6 cocktails that were paired with bite-sized savories and sweets which were made using the featured spirits of the evening: vodka, gin, and whiskey.

My cocktail blitz started off strong and tasty. The first was a Moscow Mule with the traditional ingredients of vodka, lime and ginger beer. It was perfect and the ginger was a nice starter that paired well with the Butterkase macaroni and cheese which was also made this vodka.

I do like vodka and it's my spirit of choice so the fact that I enjoyed the Moscow Mule was no surprise. What did surprise me was that I liked the gin and whiskey drinks, too. I haven't had gin in years. The smell of it just turns my stomach, but when I was presented with an ice blue drink in the form of an Aviator, I braced myself and took a sip. How rewarding! I had expected a harsh flavor, but instead found a smooth cocktail that was as refreshing as it looked. The recipe included Creme de Violette, which is a beautiful and rare liquer whose flavor was enhanced in the cocktail with Maraschino syrup. City Provisions paired this with a house gin-cured salmon that was nestled in a radish cup with a chive garnish. The combination of this drink and this tasting was my favorite of the evening.

In the whiskey category, I savored the Maple Whiskey Punch that was set in front of me. This was the end of the featured cocktails and I could still taste the individual ingredients of white whiskey, rum, milk, nutmeg and maple syrup. Smooth, smoky and sweet all at the same time. It was delicious and warming. The perfect ending before I bundled up and headed back out into the cold Chicago night.

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