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House Special: “The Knockout” at Sullivan’s


I strode into the bar of Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Naperville looking to go a round or two with “The Knockout”

Sullivan’s steak house in Naperville is steak house along the likes of  Morton’s or Ruth Chris.  How you would rank it is really up to your personal preference but ask a local why this place packs them in and they’ll tell you Sullivan’s can grill a great steak.

For me however, the night wasn’t about the food menu but rather what was behind the bar.  In this classy jazz-age lounge crowds mingled in the dimly lit room listening to live music and sipping on a variety of cocktails.  I asked the bartender what the house drink was.  He pointed to the top of the drink menu at “The Knockout”


What makes “The Knockout” special is that they steep their own vodka for this drink.  Behind the bar was a large glass jar with 2-3 inch thick slices of Hawaiian Gold Pineapple stacked neatly to the top and submerged in Smirnoff Orange Vodka.  There was no mention of any mixers but by judging by the foam on top I would suspect they added a splash of natural pineapple juice.

I took a sip and what I tasted was … Smirnoff Orange.  The drink was opaque from steeping so I know he didn’t accidentally pour me something else but the pineapple was barely noticeable.  I was confused and needed to take a few more sips to make sure but then I noticed something; “The Knockout”  is actually pleasant.

Although the pineapple wasn’t front and center, it had however mellowed the vodka, taking away the burn.  What you are left with was a light orange citrus taste and although you felt the weight of the pineapple, the flavor of  it was unassuming and subtle at best.

For those not looking for a “girly” drink, you should feel safe ordering this one.  A word of caution, these go down without much of a fight so pace yourself or you’ll be the one down for the count.

For more information go to http://www.sullivansteakhouse.com/index.php

Xan Garcia

Xan Garcia

Founder and senior editor of VODA. Cocktailian, Journalist, Traveler, and the next Robin Leach.

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