Where to Drink: Chicago

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5 Great Places for Booze-Free Drinks in Chicago

Luckily, Chicago is a great drinking city, and some places are up to the challenge of offering non-alcoholic beverages that won't induce diabetic shock. Whether you are expecting, entertaining a pregnant guest, or simply looking to cut back on your spirit consumption, here are my five favorite options for Chicago drinking without the booze. More

First Look: CH Distillery, Chicago's First Distillery-Bar

"We went on all of these distillery tours, and we got tired of standing around at the end drinking warm spirits out of a plastic pill glass," explained Mark Lucas, co-owner of CH Distillery. That's why he and his partner Tremaine Atkinson have created a space where you can sip fresh spirits, distilled right behind the bar, the way they were meant to be tasted: in cocktails. More

First Look: Mixing with Maotai at Lao 18 in Chicago

"This bottle alone costs approximately $600 retail," explained mixer Allie Kim as she handed over a bottle of Maotai. The Chinese government has given it out as a diplomatic gift, while newscaster Dan Rather famously once said it was like drinking "liquid razor blades." At newly opened River North Chinese spot Lao 18, they've incorporated it (in very small doses) into their cocktail program. More

First Look: All the Cocktails at Parson's Chicken & Fish, Chicago

Parson's is the latest restaurant venture of Land & Sea Dept., a Chicago-based cohort of design-savvy entrepreneurs whose best-known work, Longman & Eagle, is at once an ambitious, Michelin-starred dining destination and an old-school whiskey-pouring neighborhood tavern. With the introduction of Parson's, LSD's methodology grows clearer: melt down a few cultural-historical references (Southern rock, classic American cars, a black-and-white photo depicting circa-1970s-style revelry), tap a promising chef to stir the pot, and leaven with a sprinkle of unassuming, modern-eclectic design. More

Where to Drink Sour Beer in Chicago

Lambic. Gueuze. Wild Ale. Oud Bruin. Flanders Red. Berliner Weisse. Lately, when I belly up to new and familiar bars alike and begin dissecting the beer offerings, I hunt for these terms like X's on a treasure map. Thankfully, there's a cohort of ambitious, beer-focused bars in Chicago that not only stock their cellars with obscure and intriguing large-format sours, but also reliably devote one or two tap lines to the tart stuff. More

Where To Drink Rye Cocktails in Chicago

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. More

First Look: Cocktails at Billy Sunday, Chicago

Much like at Yusho, Alex Bachman's deep commitment to crafting drinks is evident simply by reading the ingredients in Billy Sunday's cocktails. He's known to develop his own bitters, syrups and tinctures, and the highest cabinets of the back bar are loaded with jars of exotic botanicals. But for all the custom housemade potions he concocts, "Tradition is the core of it all," Bachman said. More

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