Ladies & gentlemen, welcome to the virtual home of the Central Park Cocktail Club, a monthly salon dedicated to cocktails.

Here I intend to write about the club’s progress, along with any related cocktail culture musings that might suit this blog’s fancy. The blog (and eponymous cocktail club) borrows its name from my dear home on Central Park Avenue in Chicago’s wonderful Logan Square neighborhood.

My interest in cocktails has grown slowly and steadily over the past handful of years that I’ve lived in Chicago. My affair began with the Tom Collins. I’d heard once that my dad used to drink them, and in the years since, I’ve made a point of ordering them at nearly every bar I’ve visited.

Lo and behold, sticking with the same tipple for awhile has led to a roundabout education: By naming a “control” cocktail, one can learn a lot from how differently various folks apply (or derive) a recipe, which ingredients, glassware and garnishes they use, and their overall knowledge of the classics and beyond.

In 2009, I launched cocktail coverage in the Chicago Tribune while on staff as a Features reporter, and this blog was born with the intent to serve as a kind of virtual reporter’s notebook for inspirations, ideas and stories that might grow legs and eventually wind up in the paper. While I still contribute spirits coverage to the Tribune, I’ve since left to pursue the booze beat on my own terms, allowing for flexibility in covering the long and short of this industry from local, national and international perspectives, as well as related travel.

Mostly, though, this blog is meant to be a shrine dedicated to the love of spirits, mixology, and the perfect cocktail party. If you enjoy any of the above, I hope you’ll enjoy perusing these pages. And, as always, comments are encouraged.

In spirits,
Lauren Viera