One of the best bars in Chicago we went to was The Berkshire Room inside the Acme Hotel in River North by the Fifty/50 group. The Berkshire Room is an old-time cocktail lounge that harks back to when the hotel was called The Berkshire Hotel from the 1920s to 1950s. The space is dark and cozy with black-and-white tiled floors and a long, glossy bar.
The drink selection puts a heavy emphasis on barrel-aged cocktails like their signature drink, Weston. It’s a delicious drink made of wheated bourbon, Dark Matter Coffee Essence, and pipe tobacco. It’s a very smooth cocktail that has some sweetness from the wheated bourbon and the tobacco.
The seasonal drink my friend ordered was The Golden Path; a vibrant yellow cocktail that is made of tequila, golden beet juice, tumeric and mole. It’s earthy, vegetally sweet that’s controlled by the bitter tumeric. It tastes like a juice that I would have after working out since it tastes healthy.
The real stunner is the Dealer’s Choice, essentially an off-menu cocktail based on your choice of spirit, flavor profile, and glassware. (I am well aware this is not an easy task to create drink based on the spot.) My friend wanted a bourbon and absinthe as the spirit choices and wanted something refreshing and it will be in a julep cup. Our bartender, Benjamin concocted a drink made of bourbon, Pernod Ricard Absinthe, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon, blackberry, and Amer. It’s an unexpected combination but it works very nicely when I took a sip. Light, refreshing and unexpected to have the hint of acidity and sweet flavor of the St. Germain coming through all of the intense flavors of the bourbon and absinthe. It’s great.
I opted for Return the Favor, a mixture of bourbon, lemon, orange cardamom sweetener, and Amer. A smooth drink with a streak of citrus and a warm spice background that’s great to sip on.
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The Berkshire Room
at ACME Hotel Company
15 E Ohio St
Chicago, IL 60611