Thanks to countless bars and lounges staffed with talented mixologists, Chicago is a reputable cocktail city year-round. And come summertime, drinks get even cooler — literally. At the peak of the heat, alcoholic slushies, imbibing ices and every iteration of frozen drinks are on the tips of cocktail drinkers’ tongues. Our favorites around town follow.
Perched atop the Raffaello Hotel tucked just east of the Magnificent Mile, handsome Drumbar and its cozy rooftop lounge serve frozen drinks from a permanently-installed slushy machine, with recipes derived by the hotspot’s former mixologist, Craig Schoettler. The current frozen concoction blends rum, mango, lime and chili into a peppery frozen treat.
Negroni Slushy at Parson’s Chicken & Fish
The new sister restaurant to the award-winning Longman & Eagle is Parson’s Chicken & Fish. This small box of a restaurant, which is located near Humboldt Park, has one of the most popular patios in town. To wash down its menu of fried chicken and hushpuppies, principle bartender Charlie Schott derived a slushy using local Letherbee Gin, Luxardo Bitter and sweet vermouth, a riff on the classic Negroni apéritif cocktail.
Beverage manager Danielle Pizzutillo’s approach to the bar at Embeya (located just west of the city’s famous loop) is ingredient-driven, which often results in some nonconventional pairings in the glass. For the summer season, Pizzutillo created a pair of snow cones — one tamarind with orange and lime punched up with rum and cinnamon bittered-ice; another is a spiced margarita with tequila, citrus ice infused with lime and lemon bitters, yuzu sake and Thai chili. And the tamarind with orange and lime can be enjoyed sans alcohol, as well.
The newest venue in the renowned Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group, Bub City in the River North neighborhood is all honky tonk–inspired food and drink, including an impressive whiskey selection. Mixologist Paul McGee’s North to Alaska is a frozen twist on the classic whiskey smash, starring J.W. Dant Bourbon with blackberry, lemon and mint. After all, says McGee, “What better way to enjoy a whiskey smash on a warm summer day than to serve it frozen?”
Bananas Foster Milkshake at Allium at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Located right off the Magnificient Mile, end your day of shopping with the Four Seasons’ new flaming bananas foster milkshake, which is prepared tableside at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel’s restaurant Allium. It’s served with a shot of Zacapa rum — making for the ultimate summer treat.
Photos courtesy of Paul McGee, Drumbar, Danielle Pizzutillo and Clayton Hauck