Beverages,  Recipes

Nothing’s better than Effen on a rooftop

OK, so I stole my post title from the concept for Effen’s new cheeky ad campaign. I’m sure they won’t mind.

Recently, I had the pleasure of enjoying some “Liquid Luxury”—courtesy of Effen and the Effen awesome folks at Zocalo Group—while contemplating sustainable design, really cool succulent party favors and apple and bacon pizza.

And let me tell you, the chefs and mixologist at ROOF at The Wit aren’t Effen around (OK, I’m done with the Effen jokes, promise). The food and drinks were fantastic. And the bottles of Effen (again, courtesy of Zocalo and Effen) we got beforehand weren’t so bad either. Who gets a bottle of vodka messengered to their office?? This girl. I may or may not have gone home and immediately poured myself a stiff, impossibly smooth screwdriver.

Anyway, back to the party at the Wit, where copious amounts of vodka cocktails on a Tuesday were unabashedly encouraged.

We had more than our fair share of Sustainable Sours, Green City Gimlets, Chicago Caipiroskas and Second City Sparklers (recipes below for your imbibing pleasure). The general consensus was that the Green City Gimlet was the frontrunner. And the food, ohhhhh the food. Most of it didn’t live to be photographed, unfortunately … Funghi pizza with roasted oyster mushrooms, mozzarella and thyme; Salsicia pizza with house-made sausage, cured tomato fennel and havarti cheese; Apple and bacon pizza with sliced apple, smoked gouda, cobb smoked bacon and rosemary; Roasted sweet pepper and goat cheese crostini; Marinated rock shrimp crostini with white bean puree and parsley salad; Grilled cheese panini with tomato fontina soup; and PLT: Crispy pancetta, arugula, cured tomatoes, lemon aioli …

It was all soooo good. So, so, sooooo good. Or maybe it’s just the fact that my pre-wedding diet and workout regimen has exponentially intensified my cravings for anything cheesy and carby.

Once I’d settled down from the pizza frenzy, I was able to focus (using the word focus very loosely, as I was at least three cocktails deep at this point) on a presentation on the past, present and future of sustainable architecture and design in Chicago from Jonathan Boyer of Farr Associates, and one from clever ROOF mixologist Jonny Abens on the night’s libations. And let’s not forget the fabulous view:

I’ve always loved Effen, but after this event, I had a newfound appreciation. As a matter of fact, that bottle in my freezer is calling to me right now …

Sustainable Sour

You’ll need:

1 1/2 oz. Effen Vodka

1 oz. St. Germain

1/2 oz. simple syrup

3/4 oz. fresh lemon

Pour ingredients over ice, shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon and cherry.

Green City Gimlet

You’ll need:

1 1/2 oz. Effen Vodka

1/2 oz. Cointreau

3/4 oz. fresh lime

2 basil leaves

Muddle one basil leaf and add remaining ingredients over ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf.

Chicago Caipiroska

You’ll need:

1 1/2 oz. Effen Black Cherry

1 oz. brown sugar

2 lime wedges

2 dashes cherry bitters

Muddle lime wedges and add remaining ingredients to shaker. Shake all ingredients and pour over ice into a rocks glass.

Second City Sparkler

You’ll need:

1 oz. Effen Black Cherry

1/2 oz. Domaine De Canton

1/2 oz. fresh lemon


Pour first three ingredients over ice, shake and strain into a champagne flute. Top with prosecco and garnish with a lemon twist.

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