Sepia, located on North Jefferson Street in Chicago, is a stylish bar built into an 1890s print shop and filled with the sort of drinkers who take their nostalgia neat. Using house-prepared ingredients and craft spirits, head bartender Griffin Elliot offers a smattering of historical cocktails that conjure up the Windy City’s boom years. The restaurant’s aged elegance is a jaunty break from the efficient city of skyscrapers that hums outside.
The cocktail that Elliot recommends for this time of year, when ice is neither mandatory nor unwanted, is the 44th Ward. To make it at home, mix Elmer T. Lee (or your bourbon of choice) with lemon juice, orange juice, and homemade raspberry syrup. If you don’t have the skill and expertise to make your own raspberry syrup, a simple syrup can be used as a substitute. The result is both strong and refreshing, like a cool wind of the lake. To enhance the effect, chase the cocktail with a rare steak.
• 2 oz. Elmer T. Lee (or your favorite bourbon)
• .75 oz. lemon juice
• .75 oz. orange juice
• .75 oz. homemade raspberry syrup
• 2 dashes Fee Bros. Rhubarb Bitters
Shake, strain, and serve up. Garnish with an orange peel.