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Toby Maloney's influence is already spreading beyond his dark Damen Avenue lair. He and Alchemy Consultants partner Jason Cott recently designed a drink menu for the bar at Blackbird (that restaurant's Donnie Madia also has a stake in the Violet Hour). Eight classic cocktails with new twists may be rolled out as soon as Saturday according to Blackbird co-owner Rick Diarmit, who notes ruefully that he tried to introduce the same thing years ago--cocktails with quality bitters, fresh ingredients, etc.--but "nobody got it."
Today we have Maloney mixing a Southside, one of the simpler drinks on the Violet Hour menu--Beefeater, lime, mint, and Angostura bitters. There has been some chatter about the Southside having a Chicago origin, an idea that was scornfully dismissed last weekend in the Wall Street Journal. Note, the big finish on this drink is known as "spanking the mint."