Libations Delivered

Appears in the November 2019 issue.

Autumn Smash

Passion for craft spirits is exponentially growing, and the number of distillers is expanding equally to meet demand. Often, consumers have little access to niche brands and flavors they crave, but a new company’s mission is to provide customers with unprecedented access to the vast world of craft spirits. Illinois-based BigFish Spirits ( has teamed up with partner distilleries to deliver products purchased by phone, website, or mobile app.

Wheaton resident Charles Pierce is a new loyal customer. “I tried BigFish for the first time and the selection on the website is outstanding and the ordering process is so simple,” he says. “I will definitely use their service again, and plan on telling my friends about this site.”

Product categories include international, award-winning, farm-to-glass, organic, and sustainable spirits like Eau Claire Distillery gin from Canada and Hendricks Family Distillery moonshine and vodka from Wisconsin. There is even a fall spirits collection that includes Appledore rum from Tall Ship Distillery and French roast coffee vodka from Forsaken River Spirits. And the website includes hundreds of cocktail recipes to help connoisseurs blend the unique spirits into home cocktails, like the Autumn Smash (below) from Myer Farm Distillers.

Autumn Smash 

  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • orange wedge
  • maraschino cherry
  • 2–3 dashes plum bitters
  • 2 ounces Cayuga Gold barrel-aged gin
  • 2–3 figs

Muddle orange wedge, cherry, figs, bitters, and simple syrup in a shaker cup. Add ice and gin and shake vigorously. Strain drink over ice in a rocks glass.

Asian Flair
Catch 35 has recently revamped its menu to feature new dishes developed by chef Eddie Sweeney. His new take on seafood and steaks highlights sweet, sour, and spicy tastes: Hong Kong–style salmon with sweet and sour dashi broth; and bacon, duck, and shrimp dumplings. The menu is broken into three main sections: Chilled, The Catch, and The Farm. Staying true to its roots, fan favorites on the menu—like pan-roasted sea bass, roasted bone marrow, and scallop surf and turf—have been enhanced.

Poke Bros.

Newly Opened

Poke Bros.
After a successful East Coast launch, Poke Bros. has opened its 28th location, in Naperville, the first Illinois franchise. Hawaiian-style poke bowls feature cubed fish alongside fresh-cut vegetables and flavorings on a bed of steamed rice. 4931 S. Route 59, Ste. 113, Naperville; 331.702.2139,

Mesa Manila
Migel Santos and his family have opened a “turo-turo”-style Filipino restaurant. Literally translated to “point point,” this style of dining allows guests to point to what dishes they want from a steam table to pair with their rice before they dine in or carry out. 2764 Aurora Ave., Ste. 104, Naperville; 331.305.4042,

Photos courtesy BigFish, Catch 35, Poke Bros.