Mike Ryan, one of the most notable bartenders in Chicago, has left his position as Sable's head bartender to become the national manager for bar education for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which means he'll mentor bartenders and help open new restaurants and bars for the hotel group (which Sable is part of). While I'll miss Ryan behind the bar, another familiar face will be taking the reins—John Stanton, who helped open Sable in 2010, has taken over as head bartender. He got his start at the Hungry Brain (RIP), and also managed Sable's beer program before helping build the bar's spirit collection and adding new drinks to the menu.
That's not the only Sable news. Last week, it launched a new hot toddy menu from bartenders Mike Arlesic, Josh Relkin and Mony Bunni, with four drinks, including a ridiculously good hot buttered sazerac. You can find hot buttered rum all over Chicago (we're partial to Scofflaw's version), but a hot buttered sazerac was brand new to me. Made with Bulleit Rye, cinnamon syrup, old fashioned bitters and hot water, the drink is topped with Peychaud's butter, which melts and adds spice and creaminess. It's boozy and exactly the right thing for a Chicago winter.