Yes, the state's smoking ban is still in effect, but now you can once again inhale in bars. Only this time, you won't be dragging on a ciggie but toking on your drink. That's right, pioneering barflies, the next wave of cocktailing has arrived.
Meet the VaporTini, the brainchild of Red Kiva proprietor Julie Palmer. Instead of just imbibing your cocktail (how passe!), you literally inhale your VaporTini. The drink is served in a glass globe with a custom-made silver metal base. Red Kiva's mixologists pour your choice of alcohol into the vessel and heat it to 110 degrees, putting the vaporizing process into action. A glass straw is then inserted into the globe, through which you breathe in the flavored fumes. And lest you have any Cheech and Chong-style fantasies, it is recommended you inhale slowly over a period of 20 minutes or so. Pace yourself, space cowboy.
Red Kiva's VaporTini menu includes Effen Black Cherry Vanilla vodka with a chocolate-covered cherry garnish, Tanqueray Rangpur gin with candied citrus peel, Knob Creek bourbon with a griottine and Absolut Raspberri vodka with raspberry candy and chocolates. Each drink is $10.
Palmer was inspired to create the VaporTini after a visit to Helsinki, Finland on the shortest day of the year. According to local custom, inhabitants pour vodka on hot sauna rocks and inhale the spiked vapors. She worked with her father, an engineer, to come up with the prototype, and after several trials, the VaporTini was born.
VaporTinis will be available at Red Kiva, the intimate West Loop lounge, every Thursday from 5PM-2AM starting Aug. 6. Until then, you might want to take in as many liquids as possible to stay hydrated for when the future of cocktailing arrives.