Summer in Chicago means street festivals, hitting the beach and drinking as many cool cocktails as possible. Bars in Chicago are embracing frozen drinks more than ever this season, with snow cones, push-pops and icy mango lassis. Here's where to cool down with a drink in hand.
Analogue serves fantastic Cajun food, and this summer they've added a frozen daiquiri machine like you see all over New Orleans. But these aren't the sugary concoctions you get on Bourbon Street—instead there's a classic Hurricane, made with rum, lime, grenadine and orange curacao, and a frozen Ramos gin fizz, with gin, lemon, lime, cream and orange flower water.
Celeste's fourth floor is a lush garden space, and it's the only spot in the bar where you can get frozen drinks, like the Electric Pisco Colada, made with pisco, roasted pineapple puree, housemade coconut milk and Creme de Noyaux, an almond-flavored cream liqueur.
Paul McGee's Game Room menu at the new Chicago Athletic Association names its drinks by style, like the Highball, Collins and Frozen, a cocktail made with gin, blackberry, lemon, Fernet and mint. While the options will rotate, there will always be a frozen drink on the menu, which is ideal after working up a sweat playing bocce.
Beverage director Anthony Mitchell offers the Daily Shave, a daily-changing cocktail that's showered with feathery ice from a manual Japanese ice shaving machine. On my visit, it was a shaved ice mai tai, and it was delightful.
The adorable new seasonal sidewalk cafe offers a trio of boozy snow cones—a sidecar, limoncello and rosé, with a healthy slug of the fruity, summery wine.
Lone Wolf has served sgroppinos, sorbet cocktails, since it opened, and for this summer they've added a new flavor—blackberry. It's made with vodka, blackberry lemon sorbet and topped with fizzy prosecco.
Nonna's, the tiny sandwich shop next to Formento's, is serving lemon ice slushies this summer. The non-alcoholic version is $4, but for $4 more, you can get it spiked with vodka.
Each Sunday, Oak + Char serves frozen sangria by the glass for $6. If you've brought a group of friends, get the $25 pitcher.
The Hyde Park restaurant offers blended gin and tonics, an icy version of the classic, made with Aviation gin, a housemade celery tonic and lime.
The British-Indian-themed bar serves funky frozen mango lassis, made with yogurt, mango, honey and bitters and spiked with rum, Batavia Arrack and Ancho Reyes chile liqueur. The drink is garnished with sweet paprika and mint, and it’s super boozy but refreshing.
The Logan Square barbecue-poutine restaurant has rotating slushies in flavors like mojito and watermelon margarita.
Wood beverage director Tommy Lansaw is making Negroni Push Pops with Campari, Caorunn Gin, sweet vermouth and grapefruit and orange juices. The pop will be available through the end of June, and he'll be adding new variations for the rest of the summer.