Guest Bartender Series at Arbella and RM Champagne Salon

One of the greatest facets of Chicago’s dynamic bar and hospitality scene is the camaraderie inherent in the industry. This is best exemplified in friendly guest bartender series’, which are now taking place at two of Chicago’s hottest bars. Here’s a rundown of what’s happening at Arbella and RM Champagne Salon



Recently opened Arbella is wasting no time ingratiating itself into Chicago’s cocktail community. From the same folks as critically adored Tanta down the block, Arbella takes guests on a journey across the globe via booze, featuring an eclectic menu of drinks inspired by different regions and destinations, from Asia to the Caribbean and everywhere in between. With a new guest bartender series kicking off August 30, Arbella is extending the journey to bartenders from across the city. The first installation of the quarterly series features GreenRiver with four unique cocktails, including two made specifically for the event. For the occasion, Arbella’s head bartender Eric Trousdale is working with GreenRiver’s Rachel Miller, serving up an a la carte menu of special drinks between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. The cocktails to be served are two from Arbella and two from GreenRiver. 

Arbella’s cocktails are the Fool’s Gold, exclusive for the event, made with pineapple-infused mezcal, Yellow Chartreuse, Amaro Lucano, lemon, and honey syrup. The second is The Gentleman’s Agreement, with bourbon, Amaro L’eborista, Gran Clasico, and Tempus Fugit Torino Rosso. 

GreenRiver’s offerings are the Coal Miner’s Daughter, which has Plantation 5-year Noilly Ambre, Giffard Banane, Tempus Fugit Creme Noyeaux, Amaro Nonino, absinthe, Jerry Thomas Decanter bitters, and grapefruit twist. The second is the Roadside Assistance, featuring blanco tequila, mezcal, lemon juice, ginger syrup, cane syrup, grapefruit bitters, and angostura bitters. 
Another guest bartender series is newly underway at RM Champagne Salon, which has kicked off a weekly program featuring local bartenders serving up exclusive creations. Every Monday through the end of September, the West Loop lounge is inviting different bartenders to hone in on a specific spirit and round out RM’s cocktail program with their own flavors. On August 29, it’s Alex Renshaw, Brian Sturgulewski and Clint Rogers of Dogma Group, featuring cocktails made with Fernet Dogma and other digestifs and aperitifs. On September 12, the focus turns to agave spirits, courtesy of Jay Schroeder of Mezcaleria Las Flores. Then it’s brandy’s turn, thanks to Lynn House on September 19. Finally, the last in the series is a bar takeover by Broken Shaker on September 26, with a DJ set by Champagne Machine Gun. All events start at 8:00 p.m. 

- Matt Kirouac