Ahhhh patio season looks like it might be here at last! After lots of rain these last few weeks, our whole team is ready for the weekend…and some much needed time in the sun. No one does patio season quite like Chicago, and we are very excited to spend time celebrating the upcoming summer season with friends, family, and cocktails. With that in mind, we have rounded up our top spots in the city for cocktails! Some of them might not be on your list yet, but they certainly should be. Cheers to the weekend!
These are cocktails at a discount, which are honestly the best kind. During happy hour (until 8 pm), Monday through Friday, you can get wine and spirits for only $8 a piece. This Eight plus Eight ‘til Eight(pm) menu includes their Sangre y Humo cocktail, made from the “Spirit of the Day” (Fidencio Classico Mezcal). But that deal doesn’t mean you should neglect their new full menu of spring offerings! We are also dying for the Lacquered Aged Moulard Duck Breast, made with young turnips, foie gras-braised lentils, caramelized Belgian endive, and more goodies.
As winter ends and the warm weather begins, Mott Street is taking advantage of seasonal flavors like in their cocktail, Vivrant Thing (Rhine Hall apple brandy, Mellow Corn whiskey and a house beet mint syrup). Another staff favorite is Spooning in the Desert (sotol, Nardini amaro, a serrano-ginger syrup, and dill garnish). This intimate but seriously fun spot is perfect to gather with family, and share lots of different dishes! You’ll want to save your cocktail all for yourself though (no sharing needed). There are also mocktails if you want a punch of flavor without the booze.
One of our favorite things about this Chicago institution is that Kamehachi has been a family, woman-run, restaurant for more than 30 years. Go girls go! Our other favorite thing right now is their fun cocktail menu. The team favorite for the season is the Nehongroni, a Japanese twist on the Negoni that is literally “fire” (as the kids say). It will officially be added to the menu at the end of May, but our sneak peak was delicious! Pair it with some of their out-of-this-world sushi rolls and you’ll be a happy camper.
More cocktails bargains coming your way! Their happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 5 -6:30 pm and features $7 classic Italian cocktails like the Negroni, the Martini, the Venetian Spritz (Prosecco, aperol, soda, orange & olive) and the Zenzero (Amaro, fresh lime juice, soda & a splash of ginger ale). These are also available on the dinner menu, but you can also stop by for brunch cocktails like bottomless mimosas or the Bloody Mary Bar! You can’t go wrong with any choice at PR Italian Bistro.
ROOF has just recently launched a new menu, complete with a Mediterranean twist on dishes like slow cooked lamb with roasted garlic tahini and grilled beef kebabs with pomegranate marinade. Dishes like that deserve a delicious cocktail by their side! The not-to-miss drink of the season is Adult Spring Break (Aged White Rum, Fresh Pineapple, Jackfruit, Banana, and ROOF’s Coconut Cream of Broken Dreams made with coconut milk). It is served in a cored out pineapple! This one is pretty much a no-brainer in terms of summer cocktails. Also keep an eye out for fun events all summer long, including Movie Mondays!
Drawing inspiration from the library feel of The Florentine, all of their cocktails are named for a book! Bibliophiles, rejoice! Options include the Orchids and Diamonds (Grey Goose vodka, giffard creme de mure, St. Germain liquor, prosecco); Once is Not Enough (Bacardi 8 Anos Rum, strawberry, whites); How it Was (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, artisanal bitter, Italian vermouth, old fashioned bitters). Stop in for a cocktail, and we also guarantee you’ll end up staying for a dinner of one of their legendary pasta dishes, too.
The ultimate destination to indulge in over-the-top cocktails with exotic garnishes this summer is on the newly revamped rooftop of the dana hotel and spa. The bar staff at Apogee is already creating unforgettable cocktail experiences in their first month of operation as part of The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group. With cocktail options for groups of up to eight people, as well as individual selections for single sippers, these cocktails are perfect for happy hour, afternoon drinks, or a night on the town. Summer-themed cocktails at Apogee include: Where Do You Summer? (El Dorado Rum, Falernum, Grapefruit, Maraschino, Tiki Bitters, Pumpkin Spice); Nymph (Tito’s, British Cucumber, Soda, Raspberry Powder, St. Germain Butterfly); Deep End (Milagro Tequila, Grapefruit, Lime, Watermelon, Curacao, Chardonnay Barrel Salt); and more.