While in Chicago for the National Restaurant Association show last week, I stopped by a party held by Libbey Foodservice. The May 16 event, held at the Drake Hotel, included food and beverage pairings in three distinct experience zones: a Tiki lounge, speakeasy and public house.
Given the option, my first stop is always the Tiki bar. They were pouring the MonkeyDori, made with Midori, Apple Pucker, Malibu rum, banana liqueur, vanilla vodka and pineapple juice. (Yes, it was strong. No, you couldn’t really taste the alcohol.)
The drink was served in Libbey’s fun Tiki Tumblers and paired with vegetable spring rolls. Everyone loves Tiki stuff—I stopped by Libbey’s booth at the NRA a few days after to get a better look at the Tiki offering (pictured above) since we are covering rum in the June issue.
Back to the party: Next was a visit to the Volstead Speakeasy, where the drink options were a Pink Lady, a classic Martini and a Libbey New Fashion (a spin on the Old Fashioned with rye and St. Germain.
Most guests were going for the New Fashion but I opted for the Pink Lady—it’s something I would never make for myself. It was served in a retro cocktail coupe and paired with Swimming Swans—not sure what those were cause I had the honey bourbon-glazed pork belly that was supposed to go with the New Fashion instead.
Finally, I swung by the Brooklyn Public House station where I enjoyed an Anti-Hero IPA from Chicago’s Revolution Brewing, served in Libbey’s IPA glass. The beer was a little hoppy for my taste, but it went well with the shepard’s pie—my favorite!
It was a fun and clever way to showcase the company’s glassware and serving pieces. I, of course, would never dream of doing such a thing, but I wonder how many people snuck out with their Tiki Tumblers.