Summer is here, folks! And if you’re not drowning in boozy librations, you’re doing it wrong. We’ve gathered some of the best cocktail bars in Chicago that’ll get you out n’ about in this magical part of the year called summer. If you blink too fast, you might miss it all.
From summer haunts to rooftop havens, here is your Chicago summer cocktail bucket list.
127 West Huron Street | $15
I|O Godfrey is a luxurious rooftop and cocktail bar in Chicago that serves creative drinks. And perhaps, one of the most summery cocktails on this list is the vibrant Rainbow Sangria. Rainbow Sangria is a frozen fruit granita with Grey Goose Le Melon and a splash of Moscato Caposaldo.
6580 North Sheridan Road
In honor of Roger’s Park new upscale restaurant, enjoy a colorful twist on the Moscow Mule. The Cheshire Mule served at this cocktail bar in Chicago is a blissful blend of vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, and ginger beer, topped with the summery surprise of Butterfly Pea Tea. This is one of the best bars in Chicago to visit if to enjoy petal-infused herbal tea and transition from spring to summer.
738 North Wells
Harboring authentic pasta within an intimate setting, Torchio Pasta Bar has got a sunny delight you must try! This cocktail bar in Chicago services a summertime drink called the Limoncello Spritz. It features Meletti Limoncello, Italian lemon liqueur, a dash of fresh lemon, and Fantinel Prosecco, topped with a bit of soda water for a sweet fizz.
1910 North Milwaukee Avenue.
Remedy is the best bar in Chicago to enjoy late-night drinks with friends. Brightening your summer with a heartwarming tribute is the pomegranate-based cocktail, Anything for Selena.
The Anything for Selena drink at this cocktail bar in Chicago features a Tito’s Vodka with Pama, Triple Sec, pomegranate juice, and lime juice, topped with Aquafaba and embellished with edible flowers.
112 West Hubbard Street
Parlay at Joy District is a youthful sports and cocktail bar in River North of Chicago. To match their playful vibe is the exuberant libration, Blue Dream.
For a fruity fantasy, you can’t resist, Blue Dream is Casamigos Tequila, mixed with habanero agave, fresh lime juice, and créme yvette. Topped with a mini Casamigo bottle, Blue Dream is the perfect statement piece for photo ops.
23 West Hubbard Street | $14
Milkshakes aren’t the only thing bringing boys to this yard. This cocktail bar in Chicago specializes in over-the-top desserts and waggish milkshakes. This bar presents a nostalgic-themed summer cocktail list. One of their creative concoctions is The Queen.
The Queen is a Ketal One grapefruit rose vodka, fused with grapefruit, lime, and demerara. The drink is then poured in an intricate glass to prompt its sophisticated aura and topped with an orange peel and mint.
23 West Hubbard Street | $14
JoJo’s is a cocktail bar in Chicago that serves a mouth-watering drink called Not Sangria. It is a mix of Altos tequila, blended with lavender, lemon, italica, and fresh fruit. This fruity passion with a twist is the refresh button you need to glide through the summer.
435 North Clark Street
Let’s be honest: you could spend your whole summer here with the number of fun tiki concoctions Three Dots and a Dash has. But an enticing one you must try is their House Daiquiri.
Their Daiquiri is a sip of paradise, served over hand shaved Japanese block ice. The presentation alone will send you running to The Bamboo Room to get a taste.
1603 North Lake Shore Drive
Shore Club is back for the summer! Located on Chicago’s popular North Avenue Beach, Shore Club brings the summer to the Chi with tropical cocktails you can sip while taking in the warmth. Stay cool with the frozen delight, Spritzicle.
Noted as the frozen take on an Aperol Spritz, Spitizicle features fresh orange juice, citrus, and sparkling wine.
311 North Morgan Street | 412
Located on the bustling rooftop of Ace Hotel, Waydown is a stylish bar with some of the best scenic views for the summer. And for another frozen booze, Jungle Bird is a dark rum cocktail, mixed with Campari, pineapple, lime, and coconut.
632 North Dearborn Street | $15
This glamorous two-level nightclub and restaurant is setting the mood all summer long with citrusy librations, you simply can’t resist. On the menu this summer is Yuzu Samantha—a blend of Jack Daniels, Laphroaig 10yr, Joto Yuzu Sake and wild ginger, topped with a summer flower.
Multiple Locations | $11
Serving as one of the best brunch spots in the Chi, The Hampton Social is an airy, nautical-themed restaurant. And one of their special summer cocktails is the Flamingo-jito. Summer has never looked so good.
The Flamingo-jito is Plantation 3 Star Rum, blended with mixed berries, mint, and lime.
Multiple Locations | $12
The Botanical Lush is another summer cocktail from The Hampton Social that features Citadelle Gin, peppered Strawberry Cumin, Angostura, and lemon.
353 West Hubbard Street | $16
Hidden behind a cigar shop, Bassment is a lively gem in River North. For the summer, the speakeasy-style lounge has curated an enticing attraction called the J. Lo.
Serving as one of the many celebrity-inspired cocktails, J. Lo is a Rhinehall Mango Brandy, fused with Tajin Lime Grenadine, Apricot and Prosecco.
353 West Hubbard Street | $16
Another Bassment treat to add to your summer list is Lana Del Ray. Lana Del Ray is a Monkey Shoulder Whiskey with Combier Mure, Sage Lemongrass Syrup, Sherry, lemon, raspberry, and Argbeg.
87 East Wacker Drive | $16
One of the most refreshing cocktails on our summer bucket list comes from Ocean Prime Chicago: a Bombay Sapphire gin topped with muddled fresh cucumber and lime.
This iconic drink dates almost 100 years back, so you get to imbibe on a true, vintage cocktail when you visit Ocean Prime.
201 N. State Street, 27th Floor | $15
ROOF on theWit is known for their cleverly named cocktails, but their latest summer concoction is sure to make the Bey hive go wild. We all know Becky With the Good Hair is probably a Pisces because she just gets him, ya know? *cue eyeroll*
OMG Becky is Such a Pisces is made with Bacardi Superior or Bumbu Run, retrograded mint tea (lol), sweet peach noir, tart citrus, and “a Horoscope That, Like, Totally Gets You.”
340 West Armitage Avenue | $14
Whether this cocktail invokes pirate vibes or not is up to you, but when you’re finished with Lost Sparrow, we know you’ll be crying, “but why is all the rum gone!?”
Take a trip to Chicago’s most romantic fondue restaurant and enjoy Lost Sparrow, concocted with white rum, blood orange, and black cherry for one helluva summer drank.
133 East Cermak Road | $15
VU Rooftop is a perfect summer watering hole, a gorgeous Southside bar 22 stories high, overlooking the skyline. All of their cocktails are practically named, so it’s easy to order your favorite form of poison.
The Tequila #2 takes the cake on our summer cocktail bucket list, uniquely made with Reposado Tequila, pineapple, serrano shrub, and oleo sacrum.
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