With today’s launch of the new Bangers & Lace spring cocktail menu, we thought this would be a pretty good time to introduce you to the man behind the curtain. South Side Chicago native Ronnie Higgins has been on board at Bangers & Lace since day one. When he wasn’t assisting with concept development, he was busy creating a spirit + cocktail program that quickly earned him a laundry list of accolades, including one of Red Eye’s Best Bartenders, Zagat’s 30 Under 30 and Refinery29’s 30 Under 30.
Is Ronnie’s face ringing a different bell for you? He also spends time behind the stick at Bar Deville, where he’s spent the past four years apprenticing under head dude Brad Bolt. But no matter the bar you’re sitting at, there aren’t many barmen’s hands we’d trust ourselves in moreso than Ronnie’s.
If that’s the case with you, too, then when it comes to suds, look to Line #14 on our beer menu, where Ronnie’s current selection can be found. You can usually count on finding a funkier beer with minimal hops (like a saison) on his line, but he’s also partial to Japanese craft beer.
Steer the conversation toward the stirred and shaken, and getting Ronnie to choose a favorite from his cocktail menu at Bangers & Lace is a little like pulling teeth—but we got him to admit that he’s partial to Time + Date (Death’s Door Gin, Solerno, ginger-cardamom syrup, lemon, absinthe rinse) and How The Midwest Was Won (Very Old Barton, apple spice liqueur, maple syrup, lemon, Angostura Bitters). However, we think he might be even more partial to his take on The Martinez, which is the first barrel-aged cocktail to appear on the menu. (St. George Terroir Gin, Luxardo Maraschino, Carpano Antica, Dolin Rouge; aged in St. George barrels.)
When it comes to keeping things classic (read: simple), Ronnie’s favorites are the Bangers & Lace Chicago Dog and a pour of W.L. Weller 90 proof Kentucky Bourbon.