In English, we use the French phrase "l'espirit de l'escalier" ("staircase wit") to describe the feeling of thinking of the perfect reply just a bit too late. The phrase comes from the philosopher Denis Diderot, a reserved gentleman who was overwhelmed by an argument with statesman Jacques Necker and was only able to think clearly when he reached the bottom of the stairs.

In anticipation of Whisky Live Paris this weekend, we visited a favorite local French restaurant, Bistro Campagne, and created a French-inspired cocktail simple enough to recreate at home--whether you're in Paris or Chicago.


Located in the central London neighborhood of Mayfair, Savile Row hosts one of the world's most prestigious collections of bespoke tailors (fun fact: the street is also home to the rooftop on which The Beatles' played their public performance). 

KOVAL is thrilled to announce our arrival in the UK with Identity Drink Brands, and we're celebrating the occasion with a perfectly tailored Rye Whiskey cocktail with flavors of citrus and English-style dry cider.


Cheers To: Woman Made Gallery


For those who consider themselves outside of the “art world,” walking into a gallery can be intimidating. This isn’t the case when you open the doors to Woman Made Gallery, located just between West Town and the West Loop in Chicago.

This two-floor gallery space on Milwaukee Avenue is sophisticated and yet welcoming—a feeling that reflects their mission to support female-identified artists through exhibitions and programs that enrich the community.

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For founder Mike Salvatore, Heritage Bicycles isn't just a bike or coffee shop—it's a lifestyle. Heritage Bicycles General Store, which opened its doors is 2012, was designed with the mission of furthering the concept and culture of bikes and coffee. In the last three years, the concept has spread to an Outpost coffee shop in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, and the team has as a number of other exciting collaborations and projects in the works as well.

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Chicago is one of the few cities whose scents change dramatically depending on the manufacturers that reside in the surrounding neighborhood. Climb the stairs from the Chicago Avenue Blue Line station to catch a cocoa breeze from the Blommer Chocolate Factory. Venture to the northwest side for a whiff of sweetness from the Eli’s Cheesecake Factory. And, for something entirely different, head north on Elston past the Morton Salt factory for something entirely different: the musk smell of leather at the Horween tannery.

Horween Leather Company was founded by Ukrainian immigrant Isidore Horween in 1905, a time when Chicago’s rail systems, water sources, and stockyards made it an ideal location and economy for a tannery. A hundred and ten years later, the factory is run by his great-grandson, Arnold “Skip” Horween III, with help of his son, Nick Horween.

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Russ Maki can never forget the moment the Thirteenth Amendment entered the lab at Graphic Conservation Company—an 8,000 square foot space in Chicago’s South Loop.

“When the security detail and all of the curator-types left and it was just us, the entire crew, standing around the table, nobody said a word for at least five minutes,” said Maki, owner of Graphic Conservation. “That’s the abolition of slavery you’re looking at. That’s President Lincoln’s signature. It came to us in really bad shape, and it wasn’t because the museum didn’t take care of it.”

The historic document, which came from the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois, was made of vellum and experienced significant wrinkle and humidity damage before it came to the lab in 2011.

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When imagining an auction house, we tend to think about galleries like Sotheby’s or Christies—international art businesses that have curated and sold artifacts for centuries. It’s for that reason that we were surprised—and impressed—that one of today’s most elite modern and contemporary design houses, Wright Auction House, is a mere fifteen years old. Headquartered in a striking 40,000 square foot building in Chicago’s West Loop with a new second location on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, Wright has handled more than 40,000 lots and captured the attention of distinguished collectors from around the world since opening in 2000.

One of the ways its founder, Richard Wright, reimagines the traditional aspects of running an auction house is through innovative storytelling.

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