Seasonal Cocktails From Mixologist Lynn House At Blackbird Restaurant

Lynn House puts homegrown produce in her drinks

Blackbird's new mixologist, Lynn House, builds her cocktail menus around a theme‚Äďand this fall's is orchard spice.

But there's a twist: Some of the orchard fruit, and thick handfuls of fresh herbs, come from the seasoned mixologist's Chicago backyard.

The London Calling is a Pimm's Cup rearranged for autumn with fresh cucumber soda, ginger syrup, gin, Pimm's, and apple butter made with apples from the trees she planted behind her apartment (cocktails, $12 each). They're cooked according to her grandmother's recipe: for two days, with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. The resulting drink has the freshness of the original, with a lingering aftertaste of caramelized apples.

Her sage accents the Tequila Mockingbird, whose base of hard pear cider is laced with tequila and sage syrup. Two broad pineapple sage leaves, which she picks every other day, garnish the glass.

The vibrant pink of The Cranberries is the only thing it shares with a Cosmopolitan; the drink is silky and sophisticated, for those who want a fruit-based drink with a culinary pedigree. Its weighty texture comes from cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries, sugar and her homegrown Thai basil, simmered then shaken with Pisco.

It's a cleverly crafted way to drink in fall.

Blackbird, 619 W. Randolph St.; 312-715-0708 or blackbirdrestaurant.com