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Drinks like these can be found outside of Chicago.
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Where to Drink Cocktails in Chicago’s North and Western Suburbs

Even Naperville deserves fancy concoctions

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Drinks like these can be found outside of Chicago.
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Chicago has some of the world’s best bars, places that celebrate the art of mixology with new spins on classic cocktails, complex concoctions blending flavors from around the world, and even nonalcoholic drinks that won’t make you miss the liqueur. But as with all trends, an appreciation of creative drinks has crept out from the city and into the surrounding suburbs. From the North Shore to the Western Suburbs, bars and restaurants have rolled out impressive beverage programs to cater to customers looking for a great night out without an hour drive. These 12 options are the toast of their towns.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The Walrus Room

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The Walrus Room brings the traditions of a Wisconsin supper club to the Chicago area by serving up Great Lakes fish fries Friday, prime rib on Saturday, and slinging Wisconsin old fashioneds and fried cheese curds during happy hour. You’ll also find a menu of Alice in Wonderland-themed cocktails like the Golden Afternoon blended with brandy, sarsaparilla and cherry syrup and the Mock Turtle, a tequila-based drink topped with roasted poblano foam.

Preservation

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Catch live music on the heated patio at Preservation while sipping a craft cocktail like the Aye Papi made with mezcal, tequila, grapefruit, and housemade serrano syrup, or The Secret Garden, which combines cucumber syrup, cilantro tincture and tequila. The similarly creative food includes Korean pork belly tacos and spicy falafel with honey tzatziki. There’s never a cover, but you can tip the entertainers when you pay your bill.

Barrel + Rye

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True to its name, Barrel + Rye specializes in whiskey, offering an enormous selection from around the world for sipping or as part of classic cocktails like an old fashioned, sazerac or bourbon milk punch. Even if you’re not a fan of brown liquor, you can find something to love like the Slow Cheetah made with Aleppo pepper-infused tequila and passion fruit puree.  If you’re looking for an excuse to drink, 10 percent of the proceeds from the cocktail of the month are donated to a rotating nonprofit.

Craft Urban

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Chef/owner Bernard Laskowski previously opened Bin 36 and Park Grill before launching Craft Urban in downtown Geneva. His constantly changing food menu is complimented by a cocktail list featuring a smoked old fashioned and a craft martini with lemon vermouth mist plus The Dude, a nod to The Big Lebowski made with cinnamon vodka, kahlua and maple-bourbon whipped cream. Come for happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to sip $5 cocktails while listening to vinyl beats.

Santo Cielo

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The restaurant on the fifth floor of the Hotel Indigo specializes in global flavors with a cocktail menu spanning the continents with drinks like the Buena Onda made with cachaca and the Patagonian spirit Trakal and the Double Buzz, Sparrow cold brew blended with vanilla and two types of amaro and topped with tonic. Sip a few during dinner or sit at the bar and snack on shrimp bao or brussels sprouts with harissa yogurt.

Northcott Liquorette

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During Prohibition, drinkers sometimes served spirits out of teapots to disguise their booze. The Northcott Liquorette keeps that tradition alive with kettles filled with dry ice to make them steam as you pour a cold draught like Reign in Blood, gin blended with blood orange, lemon and thyme-infused honey. A seasonally changing, mixtape-inspired cocktail menu doubles as the testing ground for the beverage program for the rest of the Empire Restaurant Group, which operates three other concepts in Naperville.

Common Good Cocktail House

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Chad Hauge and Mike Melazzo, who previously served as beverage directors of Longman & Eagle and Mott St, respectively, returned to their suburban roots to open Common Good Cocktail House. You’ll find a menu of creative cocktails with goofy names like the Laura Ingalls Gets Wilder made with cachaca and rhubarb, or the Rumspringa Party Potion with dill aquavit and cucumber. Spirits enthusiasts can sign up for a Tasting Table membership to join monthly educational events featuring flights and snacks.

Puttshack - Oakbrook Center

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You might not expect miniature golf and excellent cocktails to go hand-in-hand, but that’s what you’ll find at Puttshack in the Oakbrook Center mall. Every hole on the indoor course features tables meant for resting a drink while you swing, so sign up for a tee time and head to the bar for a cold brew espresso martini or a spiced pineapple mezcal margarita garnished with a jalapeno popsicle that adds heat to the cocktail as it melts. Chips in the balls mean you don’t have to keep score, which will be a relief after a few drinks.

Thorn Restaurant & Lounge

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Stop in after a day of shopping at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago or before a show at the Rosemont Theatre for a drink at Thorn Restaurant & Lounge inside the Rose Hotel. Favorites include the Mule in the Meadow made with house-infused lavender lemongrass vodka and the Petaltini, a blend of Svedka Rosé and strawberry gin served with a rose-shaped ice cube.

28 Mile Distilling Company

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Located 28 miles north of Chicago, 28 Mile Distilling Co. makes and processes bourbon, gin, tequila and vodka which you can try straight or mixed into cocktails at their art deco-styled tasting room. Mixologist Alex Soto’s menu rotates about every month and features spins on classics like a Smoked Manhattan made with Averna and a French 28 featuring honey lavender, plus playful sippers like the Cabana, tequila blended with chamomile and hibiscus and topped with lavender foam.

Ward Eight

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Located on the border between Evanston and Rogers Park, this cozy lounge provides a boozy history lesson with a seasonally changing menu listing the year each drink can be traced back to. You’ll find excellent spins on standards like an old fashioned or sidecar and lesser known historic cocktails like the Pegu Club, a blend of gin, orange curacao, lime, and angostura bitters invented in Burma in 1920. The bar serves a small menu of bites including smoked walleye dip and venison tartare.

Found Kitchen and Social House

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Nibble some small plates from James Beard Award-winning chef Debbie Gold’s menu while sipping a masterfully made cocktail like the Second Chakra — a blend of bourbon, rooibos syrup, and orange bitters. Found’s beverage team makes their own soda and fruit shrubs, with constantly changing flavors including hibiscus ginger and cherry sage lime. Try them straight or with a shot of your favorite spirit.

The Walrus Room

The Walrus Room brings the traditions of a Wisconsin supper club to the Chicago area by serving up Great Lakes fish fries Friday, prime rib on Saturday, and slinging Wisconsin old fashioneds and fried cheese curds during happy hour. You’ll also find a menu of Alice in Wonderland-themed cocktails like the Golden Afternoon blended with brandy, sarsaparilla and cherry syrup and the Mock Turtle, a tequila-based drink topped with roasted poblano foam.

Preservation

Catch live music on the heated patio at Preservation while sipping a craft cocktail like the Aye Papi made with mezcal, tequila, grapefruit, and housemade serrano syrup, or The Secret Garden, which combines cucumber syrup, cilantro tincture and tequila. The similarly creative food includes Korean pork belly tacos and spicy falafel with honey tzatziki. There’s never a cover, but you can tip the entertainers when you pay your bill.

Barrel + Rye

True to its name, Barrel + Rye specializes in whiskey, offering an enormous selection from around the world for sipping or as part of classic cocktails like an old fashioned, sazerac or bourbon milk punch. Even if you’re not a fan of brown liquor, you can find something to love like the Slow Cheetah made with Aleppo pepper-infused tequila and passion fruit puree.  If you’re looking for an excuse to drink, 10 percent of the proceeds from the cocktail of the month are donated to a rotating nonprofit.

Craft Urban

Chef/owner Bernard Laskowski previously opened Bin 36 and Park Grill before launching Craft Urban in downtown Geneva. His constantly changing food menu is complimented by a cocktail list featuring a smoked old fashioned and a craft martini with lemon vermouth mist plus The Dude, a nod to The Big Lebowski made with cinnamon vodka, kahlua and maple-bourbon whipped cream. Come for happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to sip $5 cocktails while listening to vinyl beats.

Santo Cielo

The restaurant on the fifth floor of the Hotel Indigo specializes in global flavors with a cocktail menu spanning the continents with drinks like the Buena Onda made with cachaca and the Patagonian spirit Trakal and the Double Buzz, Sparrow cold brew blended with vanilla and two types of amaro and topped with tonic. Sip a few during dinner or sit at the bar and snack on shrimp bao or brussels sprouts with harissa yogurt.

Northcott Liquorette

During Prohibition, drinkers sometimes served spirits out of teapots to disguise their booze. The Northcott Liquorette keeps that tradition alive with kettles filled with dry ice to make them steam as you pour a cold draught like Reign in Blood, gin blended with blood orange, lemon and thyme-infused honey. A seasonally changing, mixtape-inspired cocktail menu doubles as the testing ground for the beverage program for the rest of the Empire Restaurant Group, which operates three other concepts in Naperville.

Common Good Cocktail House

Chad Hauge and Mike Melazzo, who previously served as beverage directors of Longman & Eagle and Mott St, respectively, returned to their suburban roots to open Common Good Cocktail House. You’ll find a menu of creative cocktails with goofy names like the Laura Ingalls Gets Wilder made with cachaca and rhubarb, or the Rumspringa Party Potion with dill aquavit and cucumber. Spirits enthusiasts can sign up for a Tasting Table membership to join monthly educational events featuring flights and snacks.

Puttshack - Oakbrook Center

You might not expect miniature golf and excellent cocktails to go hand-in-hand, but that’s what you’ll find at Puttshack in the Oakbrook Center mall. Every hole on the indoor course features tables meant for resting a drink while you swing, so sign up for a tee time and head to the bar for a cold brew espresso martini or a spiced pineapple mezcal margarita garnished with a jalapeno popsicle that adds heat to the cocktail as it melts. Chips in the balls mean you don’t have to keep score, which will be a relief after a few drinks.

Thorn Restaurant & Lounge

Stop in after a day of shopping at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago or before a show at the Rosemont Theatre for a drink at Thorn Restaurant & Lounge inside the Rose Hotel. Favorites include the Mule in the Meadow made with house-infused lavender lemongrass vodka and the Petaltini, a blend of Svedka Rosé and strawberry gin served with a rose-shaped ice cube.

28 Mile Distilling Company

Located 28 miles north of Chicago, 28 Mile Distilling Co. makes and processes bourbon, gin, tequila and vodka which you can try straight or mixed into cocktails at their art deco-styled tasting room. Mixologist Alex Soto’s menu rotates about every month and features spins on classics like a Smoked Manhattan made with Averna and a French 28 featuring honey lavender, plus playful sippers like the Cabana, tequila blended with chamomile and hibiscus and topped with lavender foam.

Ward Eight

Located on the border between Evanston and Rogers Park, this cozy lounge provides a boozy history lesson with a seasonally changing menu listing the year each drink can be traced back to. You’ll find excellent spins on standards like an old fashioned or sidecar and lesser known historic cocktails like the Pegu Club, a blend of gin, orange curacao, lime, and angostura bitters invented in Burma in 1920. The bar serves a small menu of bites including smoked walleye dip and venison tartare.

Found Kitchen and Social House

Nibble some small plates from James Beard Award-winning chef Debbie Gold’s menu while sipping a masterfully made cocktail like the Second Chakra — a blend of bourbon, rooibos syrup, and orange bitters. Found’s beverage team makes their own soda and fruit shrubs, with constantly changing flavors including hibiscus ginger and cherry sage lime. Try them straight or with a shot of your favorite spirit.

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