Metropole offers a Cincinnati-chili-infused whisky cocktail

Made with Maker's Mark and housemade Cincinnati-chili-infused bitters, the cocktail pairs with their Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week menu

Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week kicks-off on Monday (April 16) with chef-made multi-course, prix fixe menus priced between $25-$35. And with liquor sponsors Maker’s Mark and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, some restaurants are also offering a specialty cocktail to pair with your meal.

Downtown’s Metropole is offering The Manhattan Skyline ($8) to accompany their $35 menu, which features dishes like potato soup, Carolina catfish and lavender mousse. Travis Sallee, Metropole’s mixologist, came up with the drink last fall after finding postcards with a Cincinnati chili recipe on them.

click to enlarge Mixologist Travis Sallee preparing the Manhattan Skyline — Metropole's cocktail pairing for Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Mixologist Travis Sallee preparing the Manhattan Skyline — Metropole's cocktail pairing for Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week

“I feel like whenever people come back, (Cincinnati chili) is the first thing they want to try and it’s just a comforting Cincinnati favorite,” he says. “So I decided to try and make it into bitters and see how it would turn out.”

The bitters used in the cocktail are made with “a lot of chili powder, some dark chocolate, cinnamon, cumin, clove, cayenne, a little red wine,” Sallee says. While bitters are traditionally made with only a neutral grain spirit, he uses a split base in his recipe, pairing the grain spirit with bourbon to “bring in that hometown taste.”

click to enlarge The Manhattan Skyline made with Maker's Mark and Cincinnati chili bitters - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The Manhattan Skyline made with Maker's Mark and Cincinnati chili bitters

The beverage is warm, spirit-forward and has a comforting essence of the Cincinnati favorite. According to Sallee, the drink is versatile and can go with many courses throughout the meal. “But I also do think with being warm and a little spicy, it would be a great compliment to a dessert,” he says.

You can find Metropole’s GCRW menu here. And watch a video of Sallee making the cocktail here.

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