Illustration for the Wooded Isle in Cocktails for Dingdongs Credit: Alexandra Ensign

It’s fall cookbook season again, and with that comes another round of local food books that I’ll be cooking from. There are new books from Graham Elliot, kosher chef Laura Frankel, frequent Rick Bayless collaborator and Trib columnist JeanMarie Brownson, and Brooklyn chef Dale Talde, whose book on Filipino-American junk food fusion is heavily informed by his Chicago upbringing.

But first let’s have a cocktail.

Dustin Drankiewicz is the handsome and talented bar director for the group of venues comprising 16 on Center (Dusek’s, the Promontory, Punch House, Tack Room). Alexandra Ensign is a handsome and talented illustrator and Promontory bartender. Together they collaborated on Cocktails for Dingdongs, a short reference guide of cocktails that have rotated off the Promontory menu that are still frequently requested by regulars. There are half a dozen recipes written in sort of a mixologist’s approximation of the persona of Dr. Steve Brule, each paired with an illustration of a comical barfly—drunken My Little Pony, washed up magician, Satan laying the mack down. It’s a slim but amusing volume, and the good news is that they plan to release new editions quarterly. The current limited run is $15 and available at all 16 on Center venues.

The Wooded Isle

Here’s what Drankiewicz had to say about the appropriately autumnal Wooden Isle, shaken with scotch, squash liqueur, and an egg white, and garnished with a blazing rosemary sprig:

“The Wooded Isle cocktail is pretty near and dear to us. It was a bar team collaboration with one of our bartenders, Demetrius Green, who passed away suddenly this past January. We continue to serve that cocktail in his memory. I hired Demetrius during one of our open calls for the Promontory. Dude was cool! Very passionate and a happy cat to be around. He would say the weirdest shit, and I always loved that.”

Check out the recipe:

The Wooded Isle recipe in Cocktails for DingdongsCredit: Dustin Drankiewicz