Chicago’s best bars serving amazing mocktails

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Peppery berry tonic | Photo by Sammy Faze

Peppery berry tonic | Photo by Sammy Faze

Going out for a drink doesn’t always mean alcohol, and temperance certainly has its benefits. And luckily, Chicago’s premier bars and restaurants have risen to the challenge of providing non-alcoholic cocktails that don’t taste like sacrifice, using juices, bitter sodas and syrups, sometimes in combination with a range of innovative zero-proof products. distilled spirits that have come into play in recent years.

The information listed here may be subject to change depending on how the situation evolves with the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Please check for the latest available updates or contact each property directly for more information.

Ba Ba Reeba Cafe
Virgin sangria | Photo courtesy of Café Ba Ba Reeba

Lincoln Park tapas classic Café Ba Ba Reeba stirs virgin sangria in a pitcher, farm-to-table favorite daisies feature cocktails made with fermented mushrooms or homemade pressed carrot juice, and top destinations range like Bucktown’s newcomer, Claudia, offer 100% non-alcoholic cocktails to pair with their refined tasting menus.

“Sometimes with food and wine pairing, at the end of the meal your palate is shot and you can’t really remember the menu,” says Claudia’s beverage manager Stevan Miller. According to him, alcohol-free cocktails allow the customer “to sit down better with the ingredients and have a clear image, a more cooking-oriented experience.”

Claudie
Claudie | Photo courtesy of Claudia

Miller, a Tuscon native who recently served cocktails at Bar Sotano, likes to introduce Southwestern and Latin flavors into his creations, like the nightcap-inspired Baku, a rich mix of horchata made from sushi rice. and zero-proof sake lees. The Hibagon, also available at the bar, gets its bold punch from homemade pistachio barley and a distinct body thanks to a whimsical cap of bonito mousse and shishito.

Whether it’s dry January or beyond, Chicagoans can treat themselves to an alcoholic day any day of the year at a plethora of top bars and restaurants with cocktail menus. exciting and without proof. Here are a few to try.

Bokeh
Range of winter cocktails | Bokeh

Albany Park
In this cozy cocktail bar in Albany Park, owner Richard Weber tried out “a dozen formulations” of fruit juices and syrups before landing on the Analog, a D / A version of a Scandinavian Winter Punsch. traditional infused with spices and homemade marigold syrup. Weber says, “Even though I own a bar, I don’t drink myself, so even outside of Dry January it has always been important for me to provide high alcohol-free options for customers to enjoy. the bar experience without having to play pool. We try to incorporate elements of our alcohol offerings so that customers can also take advantage of the seasonal flavor profiles that we have on the main menu. We don’t want anyone to feel left out.
How to book: Stop on a first come, first serve basis, order takeout through Upserve, or have it delivered through GrubHub.

West town of Beatnik
Cocktail tasting | West town of Beatnik

West Town
Beatnik West Town offers a mouth-watering list of colorful, no-fuss cocktails curated by Beverage Manager Jesse Filkins. Be the envy of every drinker and order the Nada Michelada Passion Fruit Tart, lined with spicy Tajin, or the Fig Ya Dig made from cold brewed coffee.
How to book: Book through Resy.

the pledge
Alcoholic cocktail with Thai basil and black pepper | the pledge

Buckle
Shopping in the Loop or skating at Millenium Park? Rejuvenate without slowing down at Michigan Avenue gastro pub, The Gage. The French 86, a tribute to the classic French 75, satisfies a craving for glitter with a combination of bubbles and herbal teas.
How to book: Book through OpenTable.

Kumiko Bar
Remedy spirits-free cocktail | Photo by Sammy Faze

West Loop
Kumiko Bar owner Julia Momose has launched a full menu of ‘spirits free’, unique and elaborate cocktails bursting with herbal and umami ingredients with a Japanese twist. She makes the eye-catching Protea with purple highlights with adzuki (Japanese red beans), red verjuice, benimosu (Japanese purple sweet potato vinegar) and Seedlip Spice 94, a non-alcoholic distilled spirit.
How to book: Book through OpenTable or order take out online.

The loyalist
The loyalist

West Loop
The Loyalist mixology team, led by head bartender John Hess, also favors Seedlip products, featuring each of the three intriguing varieties in its own non-spirited cocktail. Opt for Herbal & Citrus to wash your burger at the bar – it contains super Patagonian berry tea so you can fly without crashing.
How to book: Book via Tock.

Lakeshore East
Avli on the Park bar manager Blake Leonette relies on fruit cuts and spicy syrups to bring lively flavors to the spirited-free drink menu at this upscale Lakeshore East Greek spot. Try pairing the Pear Cinnamon Oracle with your Spanakopita and Taramosalata for a tasty surprise.
How to book: Book via Tock.

Billy Sunday
Sparkling alcohol-free cocktail | Billy Sunday

Logan Square
The crew at Logan Square’s Billy Sunday Crack Bar take their non-alcoholic drinks seriously, incorporating homemade ingredients like their alcohol-free Fernet to bring bitterness and bite to the imaginative programming. “We like to use ingenuity and know-how to make great cocktails and focus on ingredients that just happen to be made without spirits,” says Matthias Merges, partner, and creative cocktails like lemon- y Same, But Different prove it.
How to book: Book and order take out via Tock.

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Lisa Futterman is a contributor to Thrillist.

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