Remember brunch?

Summer means a lot of things. One for me is brunch.
Preferably on Sunday morning.
Preferably outside.
Always with a Blood Mary.
And for the past five years or so, a Blood Mary the way they serve it in Chicago. With a little, 4 ounce beer chaser.
I’m not kidding.
They call it a sidekick, sometimes a side car, and it’s typically served in a small glass, or in some establishments, a small bottle designed exclusively for this purpose.
“Is this a Chicago thing?” I asked the bartender as he popped open a tiny bottle and placed it in front of me one morning.
“More of a Midwestern thing,” he said.
I wish it would become a Northeastern Pennsylvania thing.
If you’ve never heard of this, don’t feel bad. I had never heard of it either until my son, who lived in Chicago at the time, and his then-fiancee (now wife, as of five years ago) took us to brunch at the famed Publican restaurant. Michael knows brunch and Bloody Mary are pretty much synonymous to me and I was pleased to hear the girl he chose to marry feels the same. “But you’ll need to pick out a beer,” Ashley said that first time, pointing to the menu where three offerings were listed.
That was my first exposure to a sidekick, and I was hooked right off the bat.
Ashley and I have shared several Bloody Marys with sidekicks since.
We’re overdue for another.
As soon as I can feel safe getting on a plane.
A Blood Mary with Ashley?
Fabulous.
Showing up as Typhoid Mary?
Not so much.

Ed Ackerman