The bar at Bristol Seafood Grill
is all but empty when I arrive for happy hour on a Monday — a welcome lull for bartender Austin Jacobs. He has only just arrived, and the task I’ve given him — whipping up one of the restaurant’s brand-new Porthole cocktails – requires some concentration.
The Porthole is, for starters, the vessel itself: designed by Martin Kastner
for Chicago’s famed cocktail lounge the Aviary
, it’s fashioned out of two thick glass plates. Filled with delicious drink ingredients — in the Bristol’s case, vodka, fresh fruit and herbs in three different combinations — it resembles a high-concept pinwheel. Beyond its aesthetics, though, the Porthole is also a demonstration of fast infusion, which means each sip of the cocktail is meant to give the drinker a new flavor.