What's in a Cocktail's Name?

"Misty's Sleeve?" The "Cat's Pajamas?" Often, we'll order a cleverly-named drink for giggles or out of intrigue. Many cocktails names' are a puzzle easily solved, but for some, you'll need to ask for the story behind the name. Here are 5 of our favorites:

"Misty's Sleeve?" The "Cat's Pajamas?" Often, we'll order a cleverly-named drink for giggles or out of intrigue. Many cocktails names' are a puzzle easily solved, but for some, you'll need to ask for the story behind the name. Here are 5 of our favorites:

“Cease and Desist” from CH Distillery

The folks at CH Distillery are no longer allowed to serve you an “Oxycontin.” After it became so popular, the big league pharmaceutics found out about the drink, named in part because of the drink’s smokiness, in part because of its addictive nature, the distillery was handed a cease and desist ordinance from the company, which ultimately inspired a better name, anyway. Here’s to getting lemons and making lemonade (or at least delicious gin-based cocktails). 564 W. Randolph St., 312.707.8780, www.chdistillery.com (Photo by Arnold Klein)

 

“Misty’s Sleeve” from Mercadito

Who’s Misty, you ask? Fair question: the famous Misty Kalkofen, it turns out, was a bartender at Drink in Boston (don’t go looking for her now – she’s since moved on to a mescal company). With a hibiscus flower tattoo prominently displayed on her arm, she’s the muse behind this Tippling Bros.’ margarita made with El Tesoro Platinum tequila, ginger, chile Serrano, and – you guessed it – hibiscus. 108 W. Kinzie St., 312.329.9555, www.mercaditorestaurants.com/chicago

 

“Cat’s Pajamas” from Sepia

When Griffin Elliot joined the Sepia team as head bartender, he created an entirely new menu of cocktails, including this Old Weller Antique, Averna and Carpano Antica drink, a concoction of maraschino cherry-vanilla bitters. Chef Andrew Zimmerman liked it so much, he dubbed it “the cat’s pajamas.” Could you think of a better name? 123 N. Jefferson St., 312.441.1920, www.sepiachicago.com (Photo by David Turner Photo)

 

“Travelling Mercies” from The Dawson

General manager Clint Rogers’ grandfather was, in his words, “a real Texas cowboy.” Whenever the family gathered at the ranch for holidays, his grandfather said a prayer of thanks for all the travelling mercies that brought the brood together safe and sound. This spicy rye Manhattan, complete with Botan Reserve rum and Noilly Pratt rogue is a nod to the cowboy and his prayers. 730 W. Grand Ave., 312.243.8955, www.the-dawson.com

 

“Makes Wide Turns” from Vie

A group walked into Vie requesting a velvety, rye-based cocktail from bar manager Bill Anderson. They loved it so much, they took another round of Anderson’s new concoction. On the way out, one member clipped the doorjamb and laughed at the change in his depth perception. The next day while Anderson was on the road, he noticed a truck with a “makes wide turns” sign on the back, and decided to share the warning with future customers of the drink. 4471 Lawn Ave., Western Springs, 708.246.2082, www.vierestaurant.com (Photo Courtesy of Vie)