7/17/2013 02:30:00 PM

Meet Sepia’s New Bartender and His Revamped Cocktails

When Josh Pearson left Sepia for an unnamed cocktail project in River North, suddenly one of the highest profile bar jobs in Chicago was up for grabs. The winning bidder was Griffin Elliott. He spent the past three years mixing cocktails at Boka and Scofflaw - two very different cocktail programs where Elliott had two very different mentors. Under Benjamin Schiller, he learned how to create cocktails that complement sophisticated cuisine. With Danny Shapiro, he honed his speed during the opening year of the popular gin bar.

Now, he takes this skills to his first solo bar program where he strive to mix “something for everyone.” The new menu at Sepia combines old favorites with his signature cocktails such as the Trade Secret. The celery juice, gin and egg white cocktail was the first of his drinks to make the menu at Boka. Other gin drinks include the classic Corpse Reviver #2 and Mutual Feeling with Death’s Door Gin, Gran Classico, pineapple-lime juice and sparking wine. It's a nod to his time at Scofflaw.

Much like the program at Boka, Sepia's cocktails work hand-in-hand with dishes coming out of the kitchen. When not behind the bar, Elliott works with chef Andrew Zimmerman and sous-chef Charles Welch to create housemade bitters and syrups using seasonal ingredients. One of his first kitchen creations was caramelized sugar syrup used in the Dutch Coin with Bols Genever, Fernet Branca and Angostura bitters. The best of the summer fruits are utilized in the Brooklyn Night with Ron Zacapa 23, apricot, lime, honey and peach bitters.

Check out the rest of his new cocktail now pouring at Sepia.


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