Summer Spirits

Longer days and starry evenings entice us to slow down and experience the tastes of summer at these 15 Illinois establishments.

in Eat & Drink
January 24, 2017

Bob Stefko

At the J. Parker in Chicago, try a Tempest made with Ceres vodka from the Chicago Distilling Company

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Cindy’s at the Chicago Athletic Association, Chicago

The 1893 building underwent major renos last year, and the results are as impressive as the views of Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The J. Parker at Hotel Lincoln, Chicago

Signature cocktails taste even better when accompanied by 360-degree views of Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park and the Chicago skyline from the 13th floor.

Roof on The Wit, Chicago

One of the trendiest lounges in town, ROOF offers show stopping downtown views from 27 stories up.

Five and Dime, Evanston

Just blocks from the Northwestern University campus, this spacious sports bar serves top-notch margaritas and other cocktails.

Barrelhouse 34, Champaign

This downtown bar has an extensive beer list, creative craft cocktails and a patio to take advantage of summer breezes.

Embers Tap House, Lockport

Beer-lovers choose from 41 craft tap beers and enjoy comfort food such as meatloaf, fl atbreads and burgers alfresco.

Empire Burgers And Brew, Naperville

Enjoy views of the downtown Riverwalk while sipping creative cocktails made with fresh ingredients, or one of their 70-plus beers. A retractable roof keeps patrons warm and dry in all seasons.

The Standard, Rockford

The town’s first rooftop bar opened last fall, and the glass-enclosed space gives year-round views of the Rock River.

Distinctive Creations

Stretch your taste buds with creative twists on beverages.

The Aviary, Chicago

Cocktails are a work of art at this extravagant West Loop lounge, where a full-time “ice chef” creates more than a dozen shapes for creative craft drinks.

Dusek’s Board And Beer, Chicago

Beermosas have their own section on the brunch menu. Downstairs bar Punch House serves more than 10 types of boozy punch in a speakeasy setting.

The Sixth, Chicago

This upscale Lincoln Square bar serves playful cocktails, like Silly Rabbit, a gin beverage with oversized ice cubes the colors of Trix cereal.

Social Urban Bar And Restaurant, Rockford

Bartenders craft drinks tailored to customers’ palates, and drinks range from classic to fl aming cocktails, along with a selection of absinthe. −Kate Silver

Try Local House-Made Spirits

Stumpy’s Spirits Distillery, Columbia

On an eighth-generation family farm, Stumpy’s produces whiskeys from grain to glass, adding creative flavors, such as pecan pie, honey and lemon drop.

Quincy Street Distillery, Riverside

The Speakeasy Cocktail Bar crafts drinks using spirits—vodka, gin, whiskey and more—made on-site at the distillery.

Grand River Spirits, Carbondale

Distiller and owner Karen Binder uses locally grown grains and fruits in handcrafted spirits, such as Red Eye Pie Corn Whiskey and Red Eye Cherry Moonshine.

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