The spirit of Ralphie, Flick and Old Man Parker is strong in the West Loop for the next few weeks. That’s because the folks at CH Distillery have partnered up with The Dogma Group (and World Champion Bartender Charles Joly), to recreate drinks and snacks inspired by the classic holiday film, “A Christmas Story,” through December 23rd.
I fully expect to see the annual marathon on cable this time of year, but no worry, both TV monitors over the bar at CH will be showing the film non-stop. The entire bar has been taken over in a sense, with the theme “Christmas: A Cocktail Story.” Nearly a dozen kitchy, whimsical concoctions are on offer, many of which are served from customized vessels, like the sweet Uncle Eddie’s Frozen Egg Nog (CH rum, bourbon with housemade batter and spices) served in a moose glass, or the Fortune Cookie (green tea-infused CH rum, apple cider cinnamon orgeat, grapefruit, lime and bitters) intended for two, served in a giant ceramic Chinese takeout container. Careful, it packs a punch.
The food is also whimsical, pulled straight from some vague memory of what folks in Indiana ate in the 1950s, aka Mike Pence’s childhood. Cheese balls, deviled eggs and little smokies drenched in barbecue sauce make fine, if simple starters; there’s also a duck fried rice, some meatloaf sliders and a deconstructed chicken pot pie soup, but it seems like the food options are just reasons to keep drinking (you’ll want to also try the excellent glög, served hot of course; the mulled red wine with spices and rosso vermouth with a clove-embedded orange was straight out of Stockholm).
The menu also carries some of Joly’s new barware, in case you’re inspired this holiday season to become your own at-home bartender, or if you’re thinking of shopping for that enthusiast in your life who would freak if they got their very own bar tool set. I’m guessing it’s a lot cooler than a Red Ryder air rifle.
534 W. Randolph