Adam Seger is the Charlie Trotter of cocktails. Actually, Trotter doesn’t serve spirits in his Lincoln Park restaurant, so it might be more appropriate to call Seger the Grant Achatz of spirits. The important thing is that Seger, also the general manager and sommelier at the Nuevo Latino restaurant Nacional 27 in Chicago, is blurring the distinction between the bar and the kitchen. He’s leading a wave of mixology that focuses on creating balanced cocktails from farm fresh locally sourced produce, with homemade liquors, aromatic infusions and spiced drink rims. As Seger puts it, “I think about food and how I can translate that to a liquid form.”
A lot of this philosophy comes from Seger’s time working with Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand at Tru and Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. Seger was even hired as the pre-opening GM of Keller’s new york outpost Per Se. For this podcast, Adam and I met at Chicago’s Green City Market so I could see how he constructed his weekly market based cocktail list.