Confessions of a Bartender: Valentine’s Day Spirit Guide

Indulge
By Virgin Hotels
@VirginHotelsChi

Our handsome and wickedly talented Spirit Guide confessed that he’s over the typical Valentine’s Day activities. His advice how to spend February 14? Hello, libation lubrication. Skip the brewskis; instead turn up the cocktail game with sensual, glam, and above all, drinks that are dangerously exotic from The Commons Club. Jon (AKA our Spirit Guide) explains the love story behind his favorite February cocktails.

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Roxanne
Inspired by The Police song and designed similarly to the infamous “Walking on Air” cocktail.  We created “sexy” bitters using traditional perfumery ingredients like amber and oud (probably the most expensive perfumery ingredient in the world) blended with rose, bergamot, grapefruit, lavender, and jasmine.  The result is a musky, sexy aroma that flirts between the masculine and feminine. Ingredients like these are used to mimic human pheromones and increase the attractiveness factor in perfumes.  To go with the bitters, I made a drink that is equal parts boozy, sweet, bitter and tart with cognac, grapefruit liqueur, hibiscus & rose tea, Campari and a local amaro with a heavy coffee profile.  I then top it with real champagne for extra soignee flair.  The garnish is a hibiscus flower sitting a top a red LED light.
Roxanne blogLoving Cup
Traditional British-style drink inspired by Pimms.  The “Loving Cup” is an actual vessel that has two handles that friends and/or lovers use to drink out of simultaneously to show their love for each other.  They are literally drinking together.  There is no real recipe, but rather it’s typically a house-made concoction of wine and spirits infused with fruits, herbs, whatever is around.  That’s what I will do – change up the drink regularly, but it will always be elaborately garnished.
Loving Cup blogForm of Flattery
This cocktail mimicks the ubiquitous Moscow mule that we all know and love.  Allspice dram is a traditional island liqueur that adds spice & woodiness. I added a touch of calamansi extract to provide a richer citrus kaleidoscope. The ginger beer helps it all go down easy.
form of flattery blogBamboo Cocktail
Just a drink that I love to make.  This is on the menu because I wanted drinks that I love and want to make them the most perfect way possible. We picked a remarkable sherry for this drink and a Spanish vermouth that contains sherry to make the most perfect version of this cocktail.  It is one of the great old hotel bar classics that doesn’t get a lot of play these days.  It’s also a great low-alcohol option for guests who don’t want to hit the sauce too hard.
Bamboo 2 blog

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Jon’s confession? His love for Roxanne. Is that you? Any lovely individual by the name of Roxanne, stop by The Commons Club and Jon will treat you to a cocktail of your choice through Valentine’s Day.
Roxanne 4 blog


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