Chicago Radler

Stephen Cole, Barrelhouse Flat | Chicago

This carbonated and bottled cocktail, created by Barrelhouse’s Stephen Cole, is a playful twist on the traditional radler concept. For one thing, there’s no beer. Cole estimates that during the summer of 2013, he probably drank more than his weight in Stiegl’s grapefruit radler. He had its flavor profile in mind when developing this recipe, “but wanted something a little more intense,” he says. The measures of Letherbee Distillers’ original label gin as well as its über-bitter bësk (formerly known as malört) pretty well take care of that requirement. Barrelhouse keeps its house tonic syrup a secret, but there are a number on the market. Just be sure to taste before carbonating and adjust accordingly.


Yield: 1 liter

  • 5 3/4 ounces tonic syrup
  • 4 1/4 ounces Letherbee Bësk
  • 1 3/4 ounces Letherbee Gin
  • 22 1/2 ounces water

Garnish: grapefruit wedge

  1. Combine ingredients in a one-liter glass bottle.
  2. Gently shake to combine ingredient.
  3. Chill thoroughly, then force-carbonate to taste.
  4. Pour over ice and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.