Banjo After Dark started as a shelter in place project during the Covid-19 pandemic.  I would sit in my back room and pair a cocktail with a banjo tune.  I couldn't be happier that now, as we come out of lockdown, B.A.D. is a live event!  Every Thursday at Borelli's in Chicago (2124 W Lawrence Ave.) the old time community meets for a short show at 7pm always followed by an open jam at 8pm.  Weeks alternate between featured guest performers and the house jug band.  Check in on this page for the upcoming schedule and video posts + cocktail recipes. 

UPCOMING PERFORMERS

2/22 - OLD TIME REVIVAL AND RACHEL KAZEZ & FRIENDS W/ NORTH BRANCH, SONG AND COLIN

3/7- JESS AND AARON

3/21 - SHIP OF FOOLS

4/18 - BIRDHOUSE HOLLOW

4/25 - THE HOT MESSES

My favorite Mississippi John Hurt tune played on my Chuck Lee fretless Deep Hollow banjo.
The Boulevardier
is:
-1oz Knob Creek Bourbon 
-1oz Ransom Sweet Vermouth
-1/2 oz Campari

PREPARATION
Mix together over ice and strain into glass and garnish with an orange peel.

"Rise When the Rooster Crows" is a great tune recorded by the great Uncle Dave Macon. I like the way the lyric imagery feels lighthearted sometimes and heavy others. Also, the idea of a duck chewing tobacco. The Rooster cocktail is a variation of the Red Rooster I found from the Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill (they add Lychee Puree which I did not have). Enjoy!

RECIPE
– 2 oz Nikka Coffey Japanese Whiskey
– ¼ oz St Elizabeth Allspice Dram
– ½ oz Lemon Juice
– ½ oz Ginger Simple Syrup*

PREPARATION

In an empty cocktail shaker, add all above ingredients. Add ice and shake. Strain into glass filled with fresh ice. At Blue Ribbon, Hor serves it in a rocks glass, garnished with lime zest and a maraschino cherry.

I'm playing a 12 String banjo with 7 sympathetic strings. A beautiful instrument made by Noel Booth. I love the way is sounds when played slow and I like "Nancy" that way too. Pairs well with a Negroni:
-1 oz Big Gin barrel aged gin
-1/2 oz Ransom Sweet Vermouth
-1/2 oz Campari

PREPARATION
Mix over Ice and garnish with and orange peel. Note: Usually there is a full ounce of vermouth and campari, but I like to cut them back.

I love playing during a rain storm with the window open...so this upload features the thunder as a guest artist. Last Chance Blues is another tune with a banjo tuning named after it and it's heavy on the mood. I paired it with a "Gambler" since those guys take lots of chances. It's a simple drink. 2oz Templeton Rye, 1/3 oz Basil Simple Syrup and a squeeze of lime on crushed ice in a Moscow Mule style tumbler.