For once I’ll dispense with the flowery preamble and cut to the chase: Side Door might have the best cocktails of any bar I’ve been to recently. I say “might” because the bartender at the Boiler Room makes some really great ones and I don’t want to pick favorites.
The Side Door Lounge specializes in redesigns of vintage cocktails and some Frankensteinian chemistry-lab infusions (e.g., bacon-infused bourbon, Earl Grey infused gin). Every mixer (even the bitters and grenadine) is scratch-made, as their Facebook photos will show in rather pornographic detail. They also make a foam out of
Maker’s Mark Grand Marnier that they use as a topping on margaritas like foamed milk for a latte. I loved the Sazerac and I was blown away by the Tom Collins. I’ve been ordering a Tom Collins everywhere I go (often mystifying the server), but nothing was like that first hit at the Side Door. I’m a junkie now, thanks.
The decor is eclectic and, frankly, weird. Abstract paintings of F1 cars hang on the same wall as tribal masks and lizard sculptures. It’s a little like I accidentally walked in to a showroom at Nebraska Furniture Mart, but in a good way (somehow). Don’t get me wrong, the decor has a theme that works, I just don’t know how or even what that theme is.
As a bonus, they cater Mother India from down the street. If you don’t know, Mother India is delicious and the size of a closet (being generous), so it’s good to have another place to eat it. Especially one where I can get a tea-infused gin mixed with green-tea brewed bitters.
Next time I go I’ll be ordering the newest, weirdest concoction, and I know I won’t be disappointed. Just hooked. Update: Last time I went I had the Earl Gray Martinez, a tea-infused gin with the homemade bitters and a spritz (yes) of oil of bergomot. It was weird and wonderful.