Once the first sign of warmer weather appears, Chicagoans go f*ckin bananas and bust out the sandals, bikes, and of course, patios.Thank god for outdoor heaters aka the only way we can eat brunch outside from April-June. Which means one thing: it’s time for those summery bevs you’ve waited all winter for. So slate thine thirst, because we’ve rounded up a list of fun, warm-weather drinks you should be imbibing now that winter is over. AND IT BETTER REALLY BE OVER DAMNIT.
WHERE: Parson’s Chicken and Fish
I don’t care if you don’t like negronis, or even gin for that matter. This refreshing, frozen drink is as tart and bitter as your ex and will trick you into thinking the summer is going to last forever (and not just 2 months). Also, if you truly don’t like negronis, they have other slushies to choose from so don’t let this stop you from pairing your hot chicken and hush puppies with a frozen bev.
Rose Sno Cone
Forget feeling like a basic b and go ahead and order a rosé sno cone from this outdoor-only, seasonal pop up in the West Loop. Other flavors include Limoncello and Henny Sidecar, so if you’re not into pink drinks (what’s wrong with you?) you can order one of those. The point is you’re eating a grown up, boozy sno cone and that is just plain fun. Bonus: you can lust after the “Who the F*ck Is Al Fresco?” t-shirts the staff wears.
WHERE: DMK Burger Bar
Everyone knows that ice cream + alcohol are a power couple, so add some booze to your milkshake of choice (they always have the classic flavors, plus a rotating newbie). It’s not on the menu, but they willingly add whatever alcohol you want into the milkshake and will be very glad you asked.
WHERE: Big Star
I know you’ve likely been drinking this all winter (because duh) but there’s something about tequila in the sunshine (side note: Tequila in the Sunshine would make a good band name). My favorite thing about this particular paloma is the use of Mexican Squirt. Also, now that these yahoos are no longer cash-only, you can really go nuts.
WHERE: Lost Lake
Nothing says summer like a drink served in a giant piece of fruit—and this rum-y, coconut-y, passionfruit-y drink is no exception. Served in a pineapple, you’ll be transported to sandy beaches (beyond North Ave beach) and warm waters (not freezing Lake Michigan). Tiki-treat-yoself.
Creamy, fruity, boozy—what’s not to love? Honestly you could put a tiny umbrella in any drink and I’d be like “SUMMER WHOOOOOOT!!!” but even if you’re a bit harder to please than I am, you’ll love this summery swizzle.
WHERE: Mezcaleria Las Flores
This new mezcal joint used to be a flower shop, so off the bat it feels springy as sh*t in there. Bonus that a lot of the cocktails are served in little bowls, which for some reason makes me feel summer-y? Just go with it. Try ‘em all, but make sure to give Unknown Death a spin. The cocktail, that is.
So, happy warm-weather drinking, and special mention to sangria, bloody mary, mimosa, and summer ales because you know I love ya.