Drawing inspiration from local Chicago artist Nancy Pirri’s latest collection of ceramic sculptures, Travelle at The Langham debuts a new series of art-inspired cocktails. Pirri’s artwork depicts a women’s struggle to find emotional balance through texture, expression, attitude, and gesture. To honor her work, Travelle’s lead mixologist Slava Borisov has translated three of her recent pieces into inspired cocktails, each with a focus on the unmeasurable strength, compassion, and endurance that women possess as well as their connection to nature and the earth. A portion of Travelle’s latest cocktail collection proceeds will be donated to charities that reflect their inspiration.
Borisov’s art-inspired cocktails draw on the elements of Earth, Wood, and Fire, elements which are essential to Pirri’s work:
- Gaia Cocktail ($22) – Drawing from the power of Gaia, the Greek Goddess known as the ancestral mother of all life, this cocktail signifies Earth. The Gaia cocktail encompasses Earth through the ingredient, pu-erh, an aged tea with a distinctive astringent-earthy flavor and great complexity, alongside Ketel One Vodka, which highlights the great traditions of the Nolet family. By infusing Ketel One Vodka with pu-erh tea, Borisov has combined the efforts and achievements of generations who have worked hard through the centuries to deliver two outstanding ingredients. The Gaia cocktail also features China-China and Cocchi Americano, supporting the cocktail with vivid notes of gentian, quinine, citruses, and an assemblage of herbs. As a result, the cocktail is full-bodied, robust, rich, and expressive, perfect for sipping as an after-dinner cocktail or as accompaniment for a dessert.
- The Resting Huntress Cocktail ($22) – The Resting Huntress cocktail draws on Wood as its core element, as does Pirri’s Resting Huntress sculpture. To incorporate the wood element into a cocktail, Borisov has aged this cocktail in a Spanish Cedar cigar box giving the beverage aromas of vintage furniture, leather, cigars, and sealing wax. Based on a Boulevardier, the cocktail is a combination of Bulleit Bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth, producing a well-balanced, bittersweet libation with hints of grapefruit, sandalwood, white pepper, and IPA beer.
- You Should See Me in a Crown ($22) – You Should See Me in a Crown cocktail embraces the spirit of Fire and is directly inspired by Nancy Pirri’s bright energy and incredible artistic talents that ignite a fire in all who encounter her. Don Julio Reposado Tequila is accentuated with violet-lavender syrup, peach liquor, bitter Blanco, and aged rum with this cocktail. Borisov handcrafts the violet-lavender syrup from violet sugar and lavender buds, delivering delightfully fragrant herbal and floral aromas and imparting a glossy, fiery color to the cocktail. The cocktail’s spicy tincture infused with habaneros and Scotch bonnet peppers brings a gentle flame and piquancy to the palate.
Travelle’s latest art-inspired cocktail collection is available to-go through March 31. A portion of the cocktail collection’s proceeds will benefit Coalition for Rainforest Nations, an organization that assists tropical governments, communities, and peoples responsibly manage their rainforests and works to stop deforestation and bring emissions reductions, along with Bright Pink, an organization that helps to save lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering women to know their risk and manage their health proactively. Bright Pink and its partners breathe energy and optimism and remain informed, tenacious champions for women as they journey toward healthier, brighter futures.
Ordering is available via Tock: https://www.exploretock.com/travelleatthelangham. Nancy Pirri’s artwork will be available to purchase through a virtual auction to be announced at a later date. Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/101qp9z2r00bq0w/AABb87prQhWuEeQNE-jX92K3a?dl=0
About the Artist: Nancy Pirri was born in Brooklyn, New York, and currently lives in Chicago, IL. Since childhood, she has dabbled in every art form, discovering clay to be her true passion in 1996. She was represented by Just b Gallery in Three Oaks, MI, from 2004-2019. In 2015, her piece titled ‘Ain’t I a Woman’ received the “Best in 3D Award” from the Beverly Arts Center, and ‘Tamara’s Stain’ was published in ‘500 Figures in Clay’ V2, 2014. In 2010, she received an Honorable Mention Award with the Rockford Art Museum for her printmaking on clay technique. She exhibits at many different venues, including solo shows, galleries, charity auctions, private homes, and many group shows. Her studio is located at Lillstreet Art Center, 4401 N. Ravenswood in Chicago, 205W.