By Elyse Inamine
Bartenders Liz Pearce and Jacyara de Oliveira get playful with the new brunch menu, debuting this weekend in Chicago.
“For some reason, if a drink has fresh herbs and you’re sitting on a sun-drenched patio, you don’t feel like such a scumbag drinking at 11 a.m.,” says Liz Pearce.
Which is enough of a reason to swing by Beatnik in Chicago, which just opened last week and is debuting a new brunch menu, complete with drinks from female bartender team Pearce, formerly of The Aviary and Drawing Room in Chicago, and Jacyara de Oliveira, previously at Sportsman’s Club in Chicago.
“The cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks that we're featuring are a nod to the flavors we love in the nighttime drinks, but with some really beautiful fresh ingredients that make you feel okay about trying one first thing in the morning as well,” says Pearce.
Amaro, typically a digestif, is paired with passionfruit and garam masala in the morning for Deer Hunting in Paradise, and Eaaaaasy Tiger combines absinthe, coconut and pineapple for a surprisingly potent drink (hence the name to slow customers down).
Of course, there’s also a Bloody Mary, mimosa bottle service and even a sizeable area of the cocktail menu dedicated to non-alcoholic drinks—“Being social shouldn’t mean you have to get wasted,” says Pearce. But the bread and butter of this brunch menu are the slushies, which are churned out by three—and soon four—slushy machines.
“Slushies are amazing for several reasons,” she says.
1. They're super fast. “There is no waiting around for a drink because you just pull the lever and the drink is ready.”
2. Everybody loves slushies. “Especially in summer when you want a nice, cold drink to enjoy in the heat.
3. Machines are cost effective. “Slushies are about 20 percent water, so you get a lot of bang for your buck as an operator.”
4. You get more real estate. “They have 24 hour cooling systems, so even when they're not turning, the machines keep the mix fresh and cold, which frees up some very important cooler space.”
However, if you’re not looking to invest in a slushy machine at the moment, you know where to head over bright and early, should you find yourself in the Windy City this weekend.