Tia Barrett, beverage director for Bar Esmé, is a former team member of popular local establishments like Next and Aviary.
As collaborators, Barrett and Next’s former executive chef and restaurant team, opened Esmé in 2021, which quickly gained one of the newest Chicago Michelin star ratings.
Esmé reimagines the tasting-menu model with philanthropy and art integrated into the foundation of the experience. Bar Esmé, located in the same space as Esmé, offers a seasonally unique, classic Americana a la carte dining experience with a whimsical touch.
We ask Barrett to tell us more about Bar Esmé and the ultra-premium tequila cocktails she creates there.
Tell us about your bar. What type of experience can guests expect?
When guests come into Bar Esmé we aim to show guests an elevated neighborhood experience. We love to highlight dealers’ choice cocktails by taking riffs on classic cocktails utilizing seasonal syrups, shrubs, and cordials that we make in-house with premium spirits.
Talk to us about mixing high-end and elevated cocktails with Tequila Komos.
When making cocktails with Komos, I like to let the spirit shine as much as possible. The process that Komos goes through is already so finely thought about that it seems almost redundant to add too much sugar or dilute a balanced tequila.
What inspired your Rosa Refresher recipe?
Generally, the guest drives the inspiration cocktail at my restaurant bar, but this current cocktail is likened to a Paloma meets an Aperol Spritz with Komos.
- 1 1/2 oz Komos Reposado Rosa
- 3/4 oz Campari
- 1/2 oz St. Germain
- 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
- 1/2 oz Lime Juice
- Elderflower Tonic
Preparation: Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake. Strain and pour over fresh ice in rocks glass. Top with elderflower tonic.