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

The 5 best non-classic martinis in Chicago
Bars

The 5 best non-classic martinis in Chicago

If you don’t love the mix of gin with vermouth, this list is for you

The 7 best old-fashioneds in Chicago
Bars

The 7 best old-fashioneds in Chicago

Sometimes, you don't want to think too hard about your cocktail, sometimes, you just want an old-fashioned

The 10 best martinis in Chicago
Bars

The 10 best martinis in Chicago

Whether you like yours cold as ice or with a piney gin, we found our favorites at Chicago's best cocktail bars, steakhouses and seafood joints

The 9 best pisco sours in Chicago
Bars

The 9 best pisco sours in Chicago

The South American brandy has made its way onto cocktail lists for those who love a balanced cocktail with a citrus kick tempered with an egg white

The 11 best Bloody Marys in Chicago
Bars

The 11 best Bloody Marys in Chicago

Chicago kicks ass when it comes to Bloody Marys

The 7 best Irish coffees in Chicago
Bars

The 7 best Irish coffees in Chicago

Bloody Marys and mimosas not your thing in the morning? Get your morning buzz on with an Irish coffee

The 7 best daiquiris in Chicago
Bars

The 7 best daiquiris in Chicago

We need these rum-filled concotions to survive the winter and celebrate when the mercury rises

The 6 best Manhattans in Chicago
Bars

The 6 best Manhattans in Chicago

Chicago's bartenders whip up some of the best of this classic cocktail

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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

Lost Lake is turning into a tiki disco for one week
News

Lost Lake is turning into a tiki disco for one week

Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston, Texas will be taking over Lost Lake between February 28 to March 4

Lost Lake launches new "whisper menu" with 100+ tiki drinks
News

Lost Lake launches new "whisper menu" with 100+ tiki drinks

Great news—the Logan Square tiki bar has a new secret "whisper menu," with 107 cocktails, greatly expanding the variety of tiki drinks you can try.

The Violet Hour launches retail cocktail products
News

The Violet Hour launches retail cocktail products

The Wicker Park bar is selling new retail products

Cocktail trends you'll be drinking soon
Bars

Cocktail trends you'll be drinking soon

From tropical flavors to yes, even non-alcoholic drinks, here's what you'll be drinking soon

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