The oldest distillery in Chicago, KOVAL began in 2008 and snagged headlines as the first to open in Chicago since the end of Prohibition. Specializing in whiskey, KOVAL offers an unaged white whiskey in addition to their flagship trio of bourbon, rye and Four Grain whiskeys. KOVAL's dry gin comes aged in oaken whiskey barrels, which give the spirit an aroma of tea and honey alongside juniper. In addition to whiskey and gin, KOVAL offers a colorful selection of liqueurs—both fruity and floral. Try the rose-hip, a succulent red spirit with a jammy, aromatic flavor reminiscent of raspberry and raisin. Other liqueurs include ginger, orange blossom, chrysanthemum and honey, jasmine, coffee and caraway, the last of which tastes for all the world like a warm slice of rye bread with honey. Finally, try a sip of Susan for President, KOVAL’s recently-released peach brandy and an homage to founder Sonat Birnecker Hart’s Aunt Susan, who spent her life casually campaigning for the title of President of the World.
They say there’s a spirit for every occasion, and you can find them all in Chicago—after all, with a cocktail bar scene providing us with endless Bloody Marys and old-fashioneds there’s plenty of drinks to enjoy in the city. There are whiskeys to warm your winter nights, gins to while away a summer afternoon and everything in between. So why not spend an afternoon or evening at the watering holes that provide Chicago with our very own local liquors? Here’s a look into some of Chicago’s best craft spirits and distilleries.
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