Why a $200 Old-Fashioned is Chicago’s New Gold Coast Standard

Chicago’s Gold Coast is the seventh wealthiest neighborhood in the United States. It is a historic ramble of Michelin-star dining, high-end shopping, multi-million-dollar apartments, and luxurious boutique hotels. If you’re going out for a drink, almost any bar you sit down to will offer the top shelfiest top-shelf spirits, but only Somerset, the ground-floor restaurant of the Viceroy, can pour you a $190 Old Fashioned.

You might wonder why in the hell anyone serves a two-hundred-dollar drink. Chicago has its share of top-shelf cocktails. You can drop a cool $385 at Three Dots and a Dash for their Treasure Chest—but it comes in an actual treasure chest, and it serves eight people. The Bill Brasky at Bottlefork is $35 (it comes with a tiny hula dancer in a giant ice cube). But nothing comes close to the price of Somerset’s Old Fashioned:

The Liquid Gold Costs $190

“I know, it’s kind of cheesy,” said Lauren Parton, GM of the Viceroy’s 18th-floor bar, Deveraux, who designed the cocktail. “But look at it. That’s what it is. It’s liquid gold.”

Parton started with 30-year-old Glenfiddich to build the flavor profile of the Liquid Gold. “The older expressions of Glenfiddich—those that are over 21 years—they have these chocolaty, desserty notes. They go really well with everything our pastry chef Tatum Sinclair makes. The Amaro profile is all warmer spices that bring those out of the Scotch. And the Okinawan sugar has these toasted coconut and caramel tones—and it’s expensive.”

There’s only one reason to serve a two hundred dollar old-fashioned, and it’s the same reason anyone would order it: pure, unadulterated, tits-forward fuck-you swagger. This is the kind of drink you order when you’re going over plans for your sub-orbital space venture. This is the drink you order when you just signed a deal with Netflix.

If a hundred and ninety bucks dig a little too deep into your pocket, Parton is introducing two more specialty cocktails: a truffle water Boulevardier (I Wanna Dance with Somebody) and a truffle-infused Negroni (Feel the Heat with Somebody), both developed with Chef Stephen Gillanders (formerly of S.K.Y. and Appolonia). Parton asked Gillanders for luxurious and savory ingredients to build on. Gillanders had some truffle water he’d saved.

Which Parton added to her Boulevardier

“Truffle water is an Umami bomb. It doesn’t really taste like truffles, but it opens up in this classic flavor that pairs perfectly with the cocktail’s Japanese Pure Malt, which is old enough to drink itself.”

The Liquid Gold old-fashioned is served in Somerset, the Viceroy’s first-floor restaurant. The Negroni and the Boulevardier are served in Devereaux on the 18th floor.

Liquid Gold Old-Fashioned

2 oz 30-year Glenfiddich
.5 oz proprietary bitters blend (including walnut bitters and toasted coconut tincture, among others)
.25 oz Okinawan sugar syrup
Gold dust to garnish

I Wanna Dance with Somebody

1 oz Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt
1 oz Cocchi Americano
1 oz Campari
.25 oz truffle water
Garnish with dehydrated orange slice dusted with gold

Feel the Heat with Somebody

1 oz truffle oil washed Hendricks Gin
1 oz Cocchi Americano
1 oz Campari
Two dashes of truffle bitters

Caveat: yes, we know these drinks aren’t made with American Whiskey but Lauren is a friend and good God, man, we had the scoop. So there you go.

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