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The best low-alcohol cocktails

These drinks aren't weak—they're expertly crafted to keep your buzz alive

Photograph: Courtesy Cindy's

Chicago isn't known for weak drinks. On the contrary, we're famous for our over-the-top cocktails, boozy breakfast scene and boilermakers (who doesn't wash down a shot with a beer?). But for those special occasions when you want to take it slow and avoid dealing with a hangover the next morning, look no further than these low-octane cocktails. Fit for day-drinking in the sun or a low-key evening out, these sippers still offer quality ingredients and great flavors—they just go easy on the booze.

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Low-alcohol cocktails

Fernet Lola and Cola at Boleo

Grab a seat at this industrial-chic rooftop bar and lounge and ask for the Fernet Lola and Cola, a sweet cocktail that's light on booze and easy on the eyes. The custom-made fernet is crafted with a fruit base, which results in a smoother, sweeter experience.

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Loop

Arancia Spritz at Monteverde

Sit back and sip the day away like the Italians do. Monteverde's Arancia Spritz is packed with effervescent citrusy flavor. The concoction includes Carpano Antica, orange Curacao, prosecco and Angostura. 

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West Loop
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Blood Sport at Baptiste & Bottle

An impossibly refreshing mix of gin and blood orange tonic is made even more delightful with a splash of carbonated green tea. The result is an herbaceous, citrus-fueled cocktail that's perfect for long conversations at the bar. 

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Loop

Dame In Spain at Vol. 39

This sparkling sipper is an easy aperitif that seamlessly blends Spanish sherry, grapefruit and elderflower liqueurs, Jamaican bitters and a pour of prosecco. It's so light and delicate that you won't feel guilty throwing one back over the lunch hour. 

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Loop
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Miss Beauregarde at Cindy's

Crafted with day-drinking in mind, this beer mimosa is made with blueberry-ginger demerara, tarragon and Off Color Brewing Apex Predator. We bet you can't have just one. 

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Loop

Americanos at Americano 2211

You can't go wrong with this Wicker Park cafe's namesake beverage, and lucky for you, there are a few to choose from. The classic variety mixes vermouth, Don Ciccio Aperitivo and soda for a patio-friendly cocktail that's fit for a hot day in the sun. 

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Wicker Park
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Michelada Mestizo at The Ruin Daily

A sandwich shop with cocktails? Sign us up for a lunch date. The Michelada Mestizo is a Nicaraguan-style cocktail that blends Pacifico, lime, mescal and house-made Michelada mix. Surprise ingredients include Worcestershire and tangy salsa Lizano. 

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West Loop
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Bamboo at Revival Food Hall

The Loop food hall's bar is the place to be for happy hour and guiltless lunch cocktails. If you're seeking something that's light on the booze, opt for the Bamboo, a mix of sherry, dry vermouth, Angostura bitters, orange bitters and a dash of cane sugar. 

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Loop

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