As the weather outside grows frightful, why not warm up with a hot mug of spiced cider? Boozy or not, a plethora of Chicago-area restaurants and bars are getting in on the fall-flavored fun with creative riffs on apple drinks. From classic to contemporary, spiked with Japanese Cognac or Mexican rum, check out the below list for 11 of the Windy City’s most satisfying hot apple cider drinks, freshly updated for fall 2019.Read More
11 Hot Cider Drinks to Try in Chicago Now
Where to drink hot cider in Chicago, both with and without booze
Andersonville’s newbie, globally-inspired Gadabout is celebrating cider, too. Barman Brian Hartman is responsible for “Thor’s lullaby” ($12), which blends spiced rum, apple cider, star anise, coriander, and cinnamon. The hot dram is crowned with boozy hazelnut apple whipped cream, agave-date nectar drizzle, and allspice.
2. Fat Cat Restaurant & Bar
Uptown drinking den Fat Cat is offering both boozy and N/A hot apple cider. The boozy ($9) version calls for apple cider, along with cinnamon, candied ginger, clove, orange zest, star anise, pink peppercorns, and Hell-Cat Maggie whiskey. While the drink has been a hit for the last five years, new for 2019 is the “cider sidecar” ($12). Think Cognac aged in oak barrels, orange cream, mulled cider, served up with a lemon peel and kirsch-soaked cherry.
3. Band of Bohemia
Ravenswood’s Michelin-starred gastropub Band of Bohemia is pressing apple cider in house for its “morning warmer” ($10) cocktail. The restaurant’s head of coffee and tea, Tom Santelle, is behind the drink, which involves Cognac, PX sherry, smoked apple juice, spiced syrup, and a double espresso shot. The hot beverage is then finished with an orange peel and cinnamon stick.
4. Intelligentsia Coffee Broadway Coffeebar
Chicago-area Intelligentsia coffee bars are getting into cider, using juice specifically sourced from Michigan orchard Seedling Fruit, which grows about 20 different kinds of apples. Intelligentsia locations will serve Seedling’s classic cider blend for $3.50, $4.50, and $5.50 per 8, 12, and 16-ounce cup, respectively.
5. Parson's Chicken & Fish
The hot cider on offer at Parson’s Chicken & Fish (both locations) can be boozy, or not ($9). Beverage director Charlie Schott created a mulled cider a few years ago, and it includes cinnamon, clove, allspice, star anise and oranges. Spike it with bourbon, brandy, rum, or Żubrówka bison grass vodka.
6. Cafe Robey
Both the Lounge and Cafe Robey within the Wicker Park hotel of the same name are serving a hot cider cocktail. Bartender Vanessa Beaderstadt created “It’s a Wonderful Life” ($13), named after the 1946 American Christmas film. Her drink calls for Seedling Farms apple cider (infused with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and cardamom), bourbon, allspice dram, honey, lemon, and black walnut bitters, topped with maple whipped cream.
7. Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods
Wicker Park’s New Orleans-style restaurant and bar Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods is going for a caramelized apple take on cider. The eatery’s hot “Tchoupitoulas cider” ($12) is made with Journeyman Distillery “O.G.C.” Old Country Goodness apple cider whiskey, apple cider liqueur, and it’s topped with whipped cream, caramel, and freshly grated cinnamon.
8. Petit Margeaux
Chef Micheal Mina’s French cafe Petit Margeaux in the Waldorf Astoria Downtown is offering non-alcoholic cider ($5) with juice hailing from Mick Klug Farms in Michigan. The cider is spiced with a mix of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and — for those keen to kick it up a notch — a shot of bourbon or Cognac for $5 extra.
9. Travelle at The Langham, Chicago
Travelle, the new American eatery within the Langham hotel in River North, is celebrating cider season with “grandma’s apple pie” ($15). New to the menu, this autumnal martini riff calls for apple-infused vodka, marshmallow syrup, and lemon juice, and it’s finished with torched marshmallow.
10. The Ruin Daily
All-day eatery and coffeehouse the Ruin Daily in the Loop is going the no-booze route. Drop in for “Koji Demaro’s chaider” ($5), which hit the menu earlier this month. Think chai tea plus cider, made from chai concentrate and apple cider steamed together, and topped with fresh cinnamon shavings.
11. La Luna
Chic Mexican eatery La Luna in Pilsen is spiking its spiced cider cocktail “la manzana” ($12), but not with the usual agave-based spirit. Instead, the drink calls for Mexican rum, along with apple spice, lime, house bitters, and a dehydrated apple as garnish.