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Eight Unconventional Cocktails for the Free-Spirited

Looking for a cocktail with some unique ingredients? These places have you covered.

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There are plenty of classic cocktails to be stirred, shaken and poured this fall, but a few bartenders and beverage directors in the Windy City are going out on a limb with some of the ingredients they are incorporating into their concoctions. Scroll through some standouts on the map. Pigs blood over ice anyone?

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The Drawing Room

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Alligator Grin: Old Forester, Licor 43, Aperol, watermelon, balsamic vinegar, feta. Fittingly listed under “Culinary Cocktails," this original creation carried over from summer to their fall bar menu. But is it a salad or a drink?

Billy Sunday

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Box Lunch: goat’s milk, Genepi, Palo Cortado, oatmeal spices. Served up in a glass milk bottle, straw included, this nostalgic cocktail recommences on their fall menu. When was the last time you sipped spiked goat’s milk through a straw on a Saturday night?

Mott Street

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Da Chicago: Landy XO cognac, Suze, China China, Letherbee Besk, Peychaud, burnt orange expression, Garrett Popcorn. Chicagoans love their Garrets, but will they want it in a drink? Good thing they didn’t name it “The Chicago Mix”. That could have caused a few legal issues.

Kinmont

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Werewolves of London: Bombay Dry Gin, Pimms No. 1, pineapple juice, coconut syrup, pig's blood. Chicago first saw a pig's blood cocktail in May when Kristin Wolf of The Charleston challenged bartender Nandiini Khaund of Craft Cocktail to make a drink with the iron-dense serum for the Reader. With Halloween just around the bend, Kinmont now has the pig's blood-mantle.

A(maize) Cocktail: smoked corn and Achiote-infused 123 blanco tequila, champagne vinegar, cilantro, popcorn syrup, lime, Kix cereal, coconut foam. Kix cereal gained a few notches and is now offered spiked at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Warning: this concoction may not go over with well your little tyke.

Bottlefork

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Brandy & Cigars: Germain, Robin Craft Method brandy, Crème De Cacao a La Vanille, Cocchi Barolo Chinato, Honduran Robusto. For $30 you can have a drink and a cigar all wrapped into one tasty cocktail. Listed under the “Gentleman’s 'Cut'” section on the cocktail menu, a cigar is literally ground and lit on fire. The smoke is then captured in a giant snifter and infused into the cocktail.

The Dawson

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Core Power: Laird’s bonded apple brandy, Bols Genever, kale-apple juice, yellow chartreuse, honey, lime, Scrappy’s celery bitters. Now you can have your leafy greens and drink them too!, and apparently power your core at the same time.

The Whistler

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Diver Down: El Dorado 8-year rum, pineapple drinking vinegar, sage, lemon, ginger beer, Peychaud's bitters. A boozy tribute to Van Halen’s iconic album? Or a mysterious mixture of sage and drinking vinegar?

The Drawing Room

Alligator Grin: Old Forester, Licor 43, Aperol, watermelon, balsamic vinegar, feta. Fittingly listed under “Culinary Cocktails," this original creation carried over from summer to their fall bar menu. But is it a salad or a drink?

Billy Sunday

Box Lunch: goat’s milk, Genepi, Palo Cortado, oatmeal spices. Served up in a glass milk bottle, straw included, this nostalgic cocktail recommences on their fall menu. When was the last time you sipped spiked goat’s milk through a straw on a Saturday night?

Mott Street

Da Chicago: Landy XO cognac, Suze, China China, Letherbee Besk, Peychaud, burnt orange expression, Garrett Popcorn. Chicagoans love their Garrets, but will they want it in a drink? Good thing they didn’t name it “The Chicago Mix”. That could have caused a few legal issues.

Kinmont

Werewolves of London: Bombay Dry Gin, Pimms No. 1, pineapple juice, coconut syrup, pig's blood. Chicago first saw a pig's blood cocktail in May when Kristin Wolf of The Charleston challenged bartender Nandiini Khaund of Craft Cocktail to make a drink with the iron-dense serum for the Reader. With Halloween just around the bend, Kinmont now has the pig's blood-mantle.

Acadia

A(maize) Cocktail: smoked corn and Achiote-infused 123 blanco tequila, champagne vinegar, cilantro, popcorn syrup, lime, Kix cereal, coconut foam. Kix cereal gained a few notches and is now offered spiked at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Warning: this concoction may not go over with well your little tyke.

Bottlefork

Brandy & Cigars: Germain, Robin Craft Method brandy, Crème De Cacao a La Vanille, Cocchi Barolo Chinato, Honduran Robusto. For $30 you can have a drink and a cigar all wrapped into one tasty cocktail. Listed under the “Gentleman’s 'Cut'” section on the cocktail menu, a cigar is literally ground and lit on fire. The smoke is then captured in a giant snifter and infused into the cocktail.

The Dawson

Core Power: Laird’s bonded apple brandy, Bols Genever, kale-apple juice, yellow chartreuse, honey, lime, Scrappy’s celery bitters. Now you can have your leafy greens and drink them too!, and apparently power your core at the same time.

The Whistler

Diver Down: El Dorado 8-year rum, pineapple drinking vinegar, sage, lemon, ginger beer, Peychaud's bitters. A boozy tribute to Van Halen’s iconic album? Or a mysterious mixture of sage and drinking vinegar?

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