In the spirit of this month’s theme of paying it forward, we thought we’d pay it forward to you (and to a wonderful new little bar in downtown Joliet, IL called Juliet’s Tavern, yes like Romeo and Juliet, and yes there is a town right next to Joliet called Romeoville, and nope that’s not a coincidence) and find out from the creator of last month’s excellent surprise drink, the jalapeño margarita—what he thought the best cocktail of all time was.
Monty’s answer: The Old-fashioned, of course. When I am asked him why he thought this was the best cocktail in existence he said simply “because it’s such a staple and such a classic”. It is the favorite drink of Don Draper of course—for any of us Mad Men fans out there (and yes, I may have started drinking them because of that show—I’m not a nerd I swear).
The Old-fashioned is a classic, and it’s a great classic because it’s versatile. You can vary the base spirit from whiskey, to bourbon, or brandy (I personally really like a brandy old-fashioned) and I’ve even seen some made with gin (weird, but great). They come with bitters and sugar lovingly crushed inside them, have a special glass, and they come garnished with orange peels, and cherries. What is there not to love about this drink?
And, because they’ve helped us out not once, but twice with our monthly cocktails, we’re going to spotlight this great new bar in Joliet, IL—a southwest suburb of Chicago (famously known for the old prison, Collins Street Prison—if you think of The Blue’s Brothers think of Joliet Jake, or the prison was also where shows like Prison Break and films like Public Enemies were filmed).
Juliet’s Tavern opened its doors on October 7th, 2014 in downtown Joliet at 205, Chicago Street. The Tavern bills itself as an Italian restaurant and sports bar that embraces the history and legacy of its location. It is in one of the oldest, and most beautiful buildings in downtown J-town (as far as food goes, I found the veal meatballs to be particularly good). The setting is great; it really does feel like an industrial sort of speakeasy—a vibe embraced by the establishment.
It’s also a good place to host events with plenty of banquet hall space located upstairs. They can break the upstairs into three rooms, the largest can hold up to 80 people, and when collapsed into one room the entire room can hold up to 150-200 people. One of Juliet’s best features—it’s outdoor upstairs patio which looks onto downtown Joliet. Fun fact, you can see the Rialto Square Theatre—a tourist destination of Joliet (it’s a theatre that was modeled after the hall of mirrors in Versailles, and is said to be one of the most haunted spots in the city).
Take-away of this article: Make yourself some old-fashioneds to feel like a classy drink snob, or have a Mad Men themed party. Additionally, if you find yourself in the Chicago area, give Juliet’s Tavern some much deserved love.
Also, it wouldn’t be a cocktail piece without a good playlist, so keeping our theme in mind here’s a playlist filled with bands that have a really strong social conscience to get you through November: