A non-alcoholic spin on the classic brunch drink, this brings together grapefruit juice, pineapple syrup, acid phosphate, and a spritz of juniper and bergamot. "It's stronger than a soda from a fountain. It's richer. If you're paying $6 for a soda, it should be rich," explained Sagoi.
At the downstairs bar, the 'daily dram' is infused in this glass column. Old Forester Bourbon, along with other ingredients, goes in the vessel above, and it's dripped through various botanical ingredients. "We regulate the flow with a valve," says bartender Annemarie Sagoi. "You can have the whole thing come out in an hour, but that's not going to be as flavorful. This one will go for about five hours."
Sagoi describes this after-dinner sipper as "Very Negroni-esque. We use Luxardo Aperitivo, Cynar, cherry phosphate, and lemon juice." The cherry phosphate is made by combining tart cherry syrup with acid phosphate.
The Carillon Cup
This drink is named after Meg Bell (a carillon is a giant instrument that uses bells), the representative for Death's Door in Chicago. "I'm a big fan of their gin, because it only has three botanicals and isn't overpowering," said Sagoi. The drink combines a vanilla-pear shrub, Death's Door gin, lemon juice, and a spritz of aquavit mixed with black walnut bitters. It's garnished with sage and a Luxardo cherry.
"I'd never used acid phosphate before," said Sagoi. "Acid phosphate has the flavor of sour. Unlike citrus, which has fruity elements, this is just sour. I've found it to be a secret weapon in my jello shots, because citrus (especially pineapple) stops jelly from hardening. I can cheat and use acid phosphate to get that sour flavor."
The Liquid Sword
"Let's do a brunch drink with sake and bubbles!" is Sagoi's description of the inspiration for this drink. "It's simple, it appeals to everybody." The drink combines yuzu-infused sake, Prosecco, a chai green tea syrup, and lemon juice, and is topped with a shiso leaf. Initially, Sagoi wanted to make a shiso syrup. "Shiso is very gentle, not like mint or cilantro, it's very clean. The syrup tasted good and clean, but didn't taste very strong."
The interior of the upstairs bar at The Dawson. "It's a different mood," explained Sagoi. "We find people staying in this bar a little later, we can play different music. It's a younger crowd, because it's darker and hard to read the menu."
Sagoi found this antique drink pump and had it repaired by another bartender in town. If you sit at the bar and order the daily dram, it might come in a vessel like this. They don't take it to tables, for fear of breaking it.