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Photograph: Martha WilliamsAnnemarie Sagoi

Bartender Annemarie Sagoi planning vermouth bar, offering bitters class

Amy Cavanaugh
Written by
Amy Cavanaugh

Last time we saw Annemarie Sagoi, the bartender was running the cocktail program at the Dawson, where she was turning out great drinks, plus cool gourmet Jell-O shots. She left that gig a few months ago and now, she’s involved in two new bars opening in the coming months.

First, she’s helping Liz Pearce, formerly of the Drawing Room, the Gage and Henri, open the Drifter, a bar located below Green Door Tavern in River North. The bar, which has 10 seats and can fit 50 people, will feature a stage for burlesque shows, plus savory cocktails, beer cocktails and other drinks. The drink list will feature four to five drinks and will change daily. The bar is slated to open September 9.

Sagoi is also at work on her own place, which is going to focus on vermouth. 

“I love drinking it by the glass, but the U.S. hasn’t adopted that approach,” she says. “I love them and think they’re unsung.” She mentioned that her friend, bartender Naren Young, recently created a vermouth-heavy cocktail list for Bacchanal in New York.

There aren’t many other details yet, since the owners are still scouting for a space, but Sagoi says the space will be art deco in style. The name is still to be determined as well, but Sagoi is hoping to open around January. The menu will also include shots and beers in addition to aperitif drinks.   

In the meantime, she’s teaching a class on how to make bitters. On August 3 at 5pm at the Charleston, attendees will learn how to make bitters from provided ingredients, and everyone will make one or two big batches. On August 24 at 6pm, head back to the Charleston, where you’ll be able to trade bottles of your bitters with other people from the class. Sagoi will provide all the necessary ingredients (though you can also bring your own, if you know what kind of bitters you want to make). The cost is $20, and you can pay via PayPal to Include your name and, if needed, email.

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