Braving the elements on a windy and rainy night in New York City, a spirited crowd gathered at eyewear manufacturer Warby Parker’s Annex in the Meatpacking District.
Tossing coats aside, everyone raised glasses celebrating the shop-in-shop set-up of accessories from co-host, Chicago-based maker Winter Session.
Of course I brought the bourbon and leaned heavily on the expertise of the West Village’s Fedora, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Fedora is part of a restaurant group, which was begun by a group of Madison, Wisconsin ex-pats who set up shop in The Village. So, we served up a drink featuring the tart cherry grenadine of Madison producer Quince & Apple, and Chicago’s Mess Hall & Co. Cocktail Cherries. We dubbed it the “Midwest Manhattan.”
Old friends and new gathered to try on a pair of Warby Parker’s nifty and thrifty eyewear, hoist their grails, and get a glimpse into the handmade process of husband and wife designers Tanya Fleisher and Roy Katz, who made their fine canvas and leather goods entirely by themselves with the help of a few friends in their storefront-style apartment in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood.
As the revelers donned their layers and headed out into the cold night, faintly, in the distance, I overheard a collection of them saying, “Oh, I love your new glasses. And oh, man, those were some cool bags. And weren’t those drinks delicious?” Thanks to the folks at Warby Parker and Winter Session for inviting me to participate in such a cool event, and thanks especially to the folks at Fedora for making the Midwest Manhattan.
1/2 oz grenadine
1/2 oz maple syrup
1 ½ oz Basil Hayden's® Bourbon
2 dashes of Regans® orange bitters
On the Rocks
Garnish with orange peel and cherries
Enriched by a hint of peppermint, it impresses with notes of pepper balanced by slight citrus overtones, and a spicy, warming finish.
A Chicago-based storyteller and shop-owner known for his appreciation of America.
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