Drink of the week:
Pink Tickler at Fat Cat
, 4840 N. Broadway.
The damage: $6.
Thousands of bars in Chicago, why this one? A recent jaunt to Uptown reminded me of a trip when I had less than two days to see all of Paris. Instead of scurrying around trying to pack in the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, et al. in about 48 hours, though, I had just two hours to sop up some eats at Demera Ethiopian and swill a cocktail at Fat Cat before hitting up the Green Mill for the big-band stylings of the Alan Gresik Swing Shift Orchestra. I rarely make it to Uptown, and I was determined to cram in as much of its flavor as possible. By the time I had stuffed myself silly on spongy injera, the band was already taking the stage across the street at the Mill, but I just couldn't resist hopping over to the Art Deco-esque digs of Fat Cat for at least one drink.
How it went down:When planning my evening, I didn't factor in the amount of time it would take me to select a libation off the whopper of a drink menu at Fat Cat. Though martinis only cost five bucks that night (and every Thursday!), I wasn't in the mood for anything shaken; there were loads of quality brews on tap—Delirium Tremens, Beamish, Blanche De Bruxelles—but I wanted something more. For the beer drinkers who like to mix things up a bit, Fat Cat offers beer blends that go beyond the boring Black & Tan.
It's true that the name Pink Tickler caught my attention. I suspected it had something to do with sex toys—a suspicion that was confirmed when Googling it resulted in a bunch of links I couldn't rightfully open at the office. Salacious name aside, the Tickler struck my fancy with its 70-30 blend of Great Lakes Brewing Company's Holy Moses White Ale and Lindemans Framboise, a raspberry Lambic. Because Lambics go through spontaneous fermentation, meaning that the brew is exposed to air so that wild yeast—as opposed to yeast cultivated by a brew master—contaminates the beer, it has an acidic quality to it and tastes too tart and sweet for a whole pint on its own. Framboise paired with the citrusy smooth white ale, though, results in a perfectly balanced, slightly effervescent mix that’s super-refreshing and fruity without being overly saccharine.
Would I want to become a regular? I could barely take in Fat Cat's environs, with brick-red walls, a black-and-white photo collage of Uptown institutions, friendly local crowd of late-twentysomethings and mellow indie-rock tunes, before having to book it to the Green Mill. The jazz club may be an attraction on par with the Eiffel Tower, but I'd like to give Fat Cat the attention it deserves on my next, hopefully less-hurried journey to Uptown.
Dana Kavan scours the city for drink deals so good you'll offer to buy a round and creative libations that outshine your average on-the-rocks concoctions. Want to give Dana tips on where to rack up a bar tab? Share your finds before her next night out.