Pink Margarita

By Eddie Araujo

at Conrad Chicago

Ingredients

11⁄2 oz blanco tequila

1⁄4 oz cranberry juice

Splash of Cointreau

1 oz fresh lime juice

(juice from one lime)

Salt Lime wheel

Method

In a mixing glass with ice, combine tequila with cranberry juice. Add Cointreau and lime juice. Strain into a martini glass with a salted rim. Garnish with lime wheel.

A Conrad Bartender

Mixes Custom Creations—and Shares

His Margarita Secrets

By Lauren Viera

Photograph by Jonathon Kambouris

Chicago

Shake-up

A good bartender does more than just pour drinks. In fact, tending bar is kind of like being a concierge for the libations portion of an evening—sorting through the options, reading the situation, and providing exactly what you need. Eddie Araujo of Conrad Chicago has been doing exactly that in Chicago for more than 30 years—the last seven from the hotel's Terrace Bar. So he understands the golden rule of great bartenders everywhere. "I do anything the guest wants," he beams. "You have to be creative to make your guest happy."

Made to Order

Araujo knows that every customer has individual tastes and requests. That's where the Conradtini—a completely personalized, made-to-order cocktail experience—comes in. First the guest chooses a preferred base liquor, such as vodka or gin. Next comes the flavor. "Maybe it's fruit, and I blend in strawberries—or maybe they're craving something sour, and we go from there." Araujo's gentle disposition eases the decision-making process; there is never a rush to decide. And if a guest isn"t happy with his or her drink, Araujo will find something else that works, and quickly.

Pink Margarita

By Eddie Araujo

at Conrad Chicago

Ingredients

11⁄2 oz blanco tequila

1⁄4 oz cranberry juice

Splash of Cointreau

1 oz fresh lime juice

(juice from one lime)

Salt Lime wheel

Method

In a mixing glass with ice, combine tequila with cranberry juice. Add Cointreau and lime juice. Strain into a martini glass with a salted rim. Garnish with lime wheel.

A Familiar Face

Araujo's smile welcomes a loyal following of guests from around the world, many of whom return to Conrad Chicago every few months. "I know what they like," Araujo says, before excusing himself to greet a business-traveler regular: A crowd of clients is showing up soon and they'll Eddie Araujo, the longtime bartender at Conrad Chicago, serves up your cocktails just the way you like. want champagne on ice, but Araujo's customer says he"d prefer to start with a beer. Without missing a beat, Araujo recommends a specific bottle of champagne while reaching for a seasonal Goose Island beer: light and local.

Classics with a Twist

When it comes to cocktails, Araujo prefers mixing crowd-pleasing classics to riding the latest trends. His go-to for guests seeking a fresh take on a classic is the Pink Margarita (see box at right). "I have guests who return over and over to order that drink," Araujo says.