How does a wine bar stay on trend when everyone is suddenly into cocktails? Create cocktails that mimic the flavors of wines, of course.
The cocktails at Bascule in Chicago don’t actually contain any wine, but no one would likely fault you for assuming otherwise. When I visited, the list of house cocktails included drinks like the “Riesling Cocktail” and the “Sparkling Wine Cocktail.” But these names are only intended to hint at the inspiration behind each drink, not its contents.
Bar co-owner and sommelier Jason Prah explained the concept that he developed with his head bar man, Ian Pfeffer. “When opening the wine bar I realized the importance and popular trend of craft cocktails and wanted to offer house cocktails that would still stay relevant to the concept,” he said Prah. “So it was decided that we would make cocktails that would evoke the flavor profiles of certain wines without using wine in the drink itself. We figured this way the cocktail crowd would have some connection to wine even if they don’t drink it.”