If you love a good craft cocktail but want to keep it casual in atmosphere (and price), Chicago has plenty of great places to come to the rescue. So loosen (read: remove) your jacket and tie, and pull up to these delicious concoctions and these excellent establishments.
In Fine Spirits has an enormous menu of drinks including cocktails, beers, and wines. The focus here is on small and local distilleries and seasonal ingredients to bring you some exciting flavor combinations you can’t find anywhere else. Try the Dead Meadow (recently named one of the city’s top 20 cocktails by Chicago Magazine) made with bourbon, rye, walnut bitters, and apple brandy, or the Blue Buck Rose with blueberry rooibos River Rose gin, lemon, simple syrup, and Barritt’s ginger beer. The environment could not be more relaxed, so sip at ease.
Taverna 750 in Boystown is just off noisy Halsted Street and mixing up some fancy drinks, any of which include their housemade ingredients like lemoncello, grapefruitcello, pistachio, and star anise liqueur. Let them burn some rosemary in the glass before you sip their Fall of Pompeii: Nollet’s gin, Green Chartreuse, housemade grapefruitcello, lemon juice, and simple syrup. The lights are low, and everyone is relaxed.
The Whistler will occasionally have a small line out front. The small Logan Square bar makes it worth the wait. Occasionally host to performances and art exhibits, the Whistler draws a creative crowd, and one that has good taste in drinks! Try the Elk’s Own with Old Heaven Hill Bonded Bourbon, 6 Grapes Ruby Port, Cynar, lemon, egg white, and walnut liqueur rinse, or the award winning Four Points with rye, Bénédictine, sherry, and sweet vermouth, also with a walnut liqueur rinse.
Make sure to check out The Violet Hour in Wicker Park. It’s quiet, warm, and you can trust the bartenders to choose an incredible cocktail experience for you.