Cocktails in Chicago

Whether you love tiki drinks or spirited whiskey cocktails, our guide will help you find the best cocktails and more

Berkshire Room
Photo: Jason LittleBerkshire Room

Chicago has a fantastic bar scene, with great beer bars and wine bars, but it also has a cocktail scene that's worth the buzz. With classics, twists on old favorites and even more adventurous ideas, our best bartenders are perpetually coming up with great new cocktails. Whether you're looking for your next stop for a drink or want to try to make one yourself, we've got you covered with our guide to cocktails in Chicago.

Find the best cocktails in Chicago

Best cocktail bars in Chicago
Bars

Best cocktail bars in Chicago

Sure, we love a well-made classic, but in the past several years Chicago bartenders have been elevating mixed drinks to an artform

The 6 best micheladas in Chicago
Bars

The 6 best micheladas in Chicago

Find the ideal companion to chips and guac, carne asada tacos and long, sticky Chicago nights on the patio

Hot cocktails to drink this winter
Bars

Hot cocktails to drink this winter

Winter in Chicago lasts a long time, so thank goodness for plenty of hot cocktails at Chicago restaurants and bars

8 drinks in Chicago that break the bank
Bars

8 drinks in Chicago that break the bank

Now that even a basic Manhattan is $14 at lots of bars and restaurants in Chicago, it's no surprise that some cocktails cost upward of $50

11 great margaritas in Chicago you have to try
Bars

11 great margaritas in Chicago you have to try

Everything from textbook classics to a high-end version with gold flakes made the cut

The best rooftop bars in Chicago
Bars

The best rooftop bars in Chicago

Chicago has no shortage of awesome things to do in the summer—by which we mean drinking on rooftops with great views of the citys

The Violet Hour hosts a new absinthe happy hour
News

The Violet Hour hosts a new absinthe happy hour

Feeling a little fancy?

17 new frozen cocktails to try this summer
Bars

17 new frozen cocktails to try this summer

Bars in Chicago are embracing frozen drinks more than ever this season, with snow cones and icy mango lassis

Cocktail recipes

How to make an espresso martini
Bars

How to make an espresso martini

According to booze legend, the first espresso martini was poured in London in 1983

How to make an old-fashioned
Bars

How to make an old-fashioned

Learn how to make one of the most simple, elemental creations in the tome of classic cocktails

How to make a martini
Bars

How to make a martini

We turned to Yael Vengroff, head bartender at the Spare Room in Los Angeles, for her take on a 50/50 martini that you can whip up at home

How to make a pisco sour
Bars

How to make a pisco sour

This South American cocktail has made its way to the US. It's made with the South American liquor pisco—a brandy made by distilling grape wine—citrus, a sweetener and an egg white.

How to make a Bloody Mary
Bars

How to make a Bloody Mary

Skip brunch and recreate the hangover-curing vodka sipper in your own home

How to make an Irish coffee
Bars

How to make an Irish coffee

Irish whiskey, coffee, a little cream and sugar—there's not much to an Irish coffee, but when you're holed up in a bar on a chilly evening, it can seem like the only drink worth having

How to make a daiquiri
Bars

How to make a daiquiri

Too often the daiquiri gets a bad rep for being overly sweet—but a great daiquiri is perfectly balanced, a bright mix of rum, citrus and cane syrup

How to make a Manhattan cocktail
Bars

How to make a Manhattan cocktail

With just three main ingredients, the classic Manhattan is a deceptively simple cocktail

The latest bar reviews

Neon Wilderness
Bars

Neon Wilderness

Equal parts neighborhood joint and refined cocktail bar, Brad Bolt’s good-humored watering hole is just what Wicker Park needed.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Good Measure
Bars

Good Measure

This snug, punk-tinged cocktail bar fills a void in River North and slings lip-smacking drinking food, to boot.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Ludlow Liquors
Bars

Ludlow Liquors

Enterprising barchitects Wade McElroy and Jeff Donahue (Sportsman’s Club, Estereo) took another shot at reviving the beloved Orbit Room space in Avondale—this time with much success.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Golden Teardrops
Bars

Golden Teardrops

I can’t stop playing “Golden Teardrops,” the haunting 1953 single by Chicago doo-wop group the Flamingos. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
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Know your bartender

Stephanie Andrews at Billy Sunday
News

Stephanie Andrews at Billy Sunday

From The Aviary to this Logan Square institution

Jess Lambert at Boleo and Vol. 39
News

Jess Lambert at Boleo and Vol. 39

"Man, I need to make fat cash."

Josh Fossitt at Bad Hunter
Bars

Josh Fossitt at Bad Hunter

The man behind Mermaid Water

Stephen Andrews at Milk Room
Bars

Stephen Andrews at Milk Room

He mixes the vintage drinks at this speakeasy in the Chicago Athletic Association

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Crawl through Chicago bars

Armitage Avenue cocktail bar crawl
Bars

Armitage Avenue cocktail bar crawl

From new cocktail bars to neighborhood standbys, here’s where to go (and what to drink) on your next bar crawl

Bar crawl through the Chicago Athletic Association
News

Bar crawl through the Chicago Athletic Association

We're most interested in the bevy of new eating and drinking options, including some spots from Land and Sea Dept

Bars where you can get a drink near the 606
Bars

Bars where you can get a drink near the 606

If you want to get to know the neighborhoods along the 606, there’s no better way than with a bar crawl

A civilized Wrigleyville bar crawl
Bars

A civilized Wrigleyville bar crawl

Whether you want a glass of wine over dinner or craft beer and barbecue, here are a few well-behaved Wrigleyville bars to check out

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More cocktail content

What to eat and drink at Anvil Bar & Refuge's Tiki Disco takeover at Lost Lake
News

What to eat and drink at Anvil Bar & Refuge's Tiki Disco takeover at Lost Lake

We stopped by to see what was going on—and found some really fun drinks and throwback snacks provided by Thank You you should try this week

A night at Milk Room, the 8-seat rare spirits bar in the Chicago Athletic Association
News

A night at Milk Room, the 8-seat rare spirits bar in the Chicago Athletic Association

Milk Room is the smallest (and most expensive) bar at the Chicago Athletic Association, with an inventory of rare and vintage spirits

Four new cocktails to try
News

Four new cocktails to try

These bars recently added new cocktails to their menus that might just pique your palate

7 cocktails for $7 or less at Chicago bars & restaurants

7 cocktails for $7 or less at Chicago bars & restaurants

These craft cocktails, served at some of the best bars and restaurants in the city are $7 or less.

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