A New Orleans Riverboat Soiree, ca. 1930 with North Shore Distillery

Thursday, October 4, please join us and North Shore Distillery for a special cocktail dinner in celebration of Craft Spirit Week, a gathering of some of the world’s best craft distillers in Chicago. In our estimation, there could be no better way to celebrate craft spirits and the craft of cocktails than to visit historic New Orleans for a peek into the culture that has borne so much influence in the the emergence of the cocktail as a social phenomenon.

North Shore Distillery will bring its stunning lineup of incredible gins, vodka, absinthe, and artisan spirits and team up with our own David Devaney to create a memorable cocktail menu to accompany a dinner inspired by early 20th-century Creole cooking. This is not one to be missed.

I have chosen as chief inspiration for this dinner the cooking of Mary Moore Bremer, an accomplished African American cook who penned a book in 1932 titled “New Orleans Recipes,” which is a favorite of mine for the particularly historic and unadulterated character of her recipes. By 1932 even most Southern cookbooks started to bear the pock marks of industrial cooking, utilizing items such as shortening, Jell-O, soup mixes, and whatnot, but not Mrs. Bremer. She cooked in the true Creole way, from the ground up starting with the best ingredients. The inspiration here is fantastic.

Please join us for a wonderful evening of old New Orleans cooking and a raft of cocktails inspired by Nola’s history as one of the world’s great drinking destinations. While this isn’t a whiskey dinner, in keeping with the Big Jones Bourbon Society’s tradition of inclusion and democracy, we are pricing this dinner at $50 per person including tax and gratuity, with an optional $10 admission to the cocktail hour with passed hors d’ouvres. A steal, it’s true, but this is about fun and camaraderie. Come and take part. Cocktail reception begins at 6:30, dinner at 7:30.

Cocktail hour canapes, 6:30
Chopped duck egg on Sally Lunn toast with Louisiana choupique caviar
Deviled ham salad on Abruzzi rye toast with green strawberry chutney

Dinner, 7:30
Turtle soup with oxtail, sherry, and liver dumplings

Bread Service: Rice cakes with butter, fig confit, and tupelo honey

Shrimp-stuffed mirliton with boudin rouge, crawfish butter, and tarragon

Duck and oyster sauce piquant two ways with crackling, aromatic Delta rice, and scallions

Soured rice calas with acorn squash, cane syrup, and marcona almonds

Coconut and pecan pralines