Food & Drink

The Aviary Is Crowdfunding a Cocktail Book

We got pretty excited when we heard famed Chicago cocktail lab The Aviary was expanding to New York, but now the drink-mixing wizards are bringing their cocktail creations to every home bar with a new cocktail book, which, if the bar’s drinks are any indication, will be jaw-droppingly beautiful (and a little insane).

Always challenging expectations, co-owners Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas are crowdfunding the entire project. A Kickstarter for The Aviary Cocktail Book launched yesterday, and within hours of being announced on Twitter, it had reached its goal of $50,000. With two books to Achatz’s name already, the group isn't self-publishing for lack of interest from publishing houses. According to Eater, Kokonas explained that the project intentionally frustrated the traditional publishing system, bypassing a self-interested industry in order to bring the bar's proprietary techniques straight to readers. The move isn’t a huge surprise coming from Kokonas, who previously disrupted the restaurant industry by launching his own reservation system, Tock.

The team isn’t just relying on fans to fund the book, they also hired two super-fans to make it. Artists Allen and Sarah Hemberger crossed the bar team’s radar after the couple published their own cookbook, The Alinea Project, which journalled their attempts to cook through every recipe in the official Alinea cookbook in their own kitchen. A gratis copy sent to Achatz and Kokonas earned the artists the chance to put The Aviary’s drinks down on paper.

Early Kickstarter backers can earn posters signed by the team, a day-long cocktail lesson straight from the masters at The Aviary, and even your very own porthole infuser. The Kickstarter runs for another 28 days, but larger packages will probably sell out long before the end, so pledge now if you want to step behind the stick. And be sure to keep an eye on the project in case the wacky bar duo decides to add some stretch goals or new perks.