Serious Eats: Drinks
Where To Drink Rye Cocktails in Chicago
I was once taught that economics is the study of 'choice under conditions of scarcity.' Earth is composed of only so much stuff, so how do we decide to use and shape and consume that limited amount of stuff? Of course it's more complicated than that, but I've always felt that was a pretty tidy way to think about economics.
If you've been following booze news lately, you know that the supply of aged rye whiskey has been amidst a spell of scarcity since the cocktail revival really hit its stride. The flavor profile of your typical rye is bold, dry, and spicy. It holds up well in mixed drinks, and bartenders often reach for the stuff to concoct a host of recognizable classics like the Old Fashioned, the Sazerac, and the Manhattan, not to mention countless modern novelties. It's become so popular again that we consumers have gone and drunk much of the rye that's currently ready to drink.
Which brings us to these seven cocktails. With the proliferation of cocktail bars and cocktail-conscious restaurants in Chicago, there are dozens of rye cocktails to be had here, especially during this time of year, when meager temperatures demand that restorative sensation of heat rye drinks so generously provide. But around town, many rye drinks are darn good, while others are just ok. As a service to ourselves, I say, let's not waste a drop of precious rye on anything short of great.
These seven drinks include skillful presentations of classics as well as fanciful new inventions using unexpected ingredients. Check them all out in the slideshow above.
The Whistler (Try the Old Salt)
Red Door (Try the drink with cedar wood oil)
Maude's Liquor Bar (Try the Vieux Carré)
Billy Sunday (Try The Cocktail)
Sepia (Try the Old Fashioned)
Longman & Eagle (Try The New Black)
Lula Cafe (Try the Checkers with Jane)
What other rye cocktails in Chicago are deserving of the juice they hold? I'd love to hear about your favorite recent sips.