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6 Excellent Fall Cocktails You Can Try In Chicago

By Anthony Todd in Food on Nov 16, 2016 4:51PM

The Hitchhiker at Presidio. Photo by Adam Sokolowski.

By Leigh Kunkel

Chicago has been holding on to warm weather a little longer than usual this year, with temperatures still occasionally in the 70s, but it is, in fact, fall. And a change in season means a change in cocktails, moving away from the berries and melons of summertime to autumn’s apples, spices, and, for better or worse, pumpkins.

Restaurants and bars around Chicago have been switching up their drink menus to showcase their favorite fall flavors and spirits. Here are a few to check out.

The Hitchhiker at Presidio

This Bucktown spot has based their fall cocktail menu around urban legends and creepy folklore, with the whiskey-based Hitchhiker meant to conjure up images of lonely highways and headlights cutting through foggy nights. The drink includes boba pearls that have been smoked with Lapsang Souchong tea, house-made coconut horchata, and maple-vanilla chai syrup.

Autumnal Twerkings at the Drifter

Head bartender Liz Pearce described this drink as “breakfast Scotch,” which is probably all you need to know. If you want more details, though, the cocktail includes milk-washed Pig’s Nose Scotch, spiced pear liqueur, allspice dram, sherry, and pumpkin. It’s a bit sweet, a bit tart, and very refreshing, at breakfast or otherwise.

The Daywalker at Wood

It’s always fun to see cold weather cocktails that venture beyond the usual brown spirits, so if you’re not a whiskey person, the Daywalker at Wood in Boystown will be right up your alley: gin, ginger liqueur, apple nectar, lemon, and a bit of cinnamon. Tart, with a bit of a bite. Just right for the neighborhood.

The Fall Basics at Scofflaw

At least one bar had to take on the pumpkin spice latte, right? Scofflaw’s version, with rye, house-made pumpkin liqueur, Italian amaro, citrus, and a graham cracker garnish, is perfect for people who usually find pumpkin drinks too sweet. Plus, the graham cracker is adorable.

Before the Show at The Violet Hour. Photo via Instagram.

Before The Show at the Violet Hour

A take on butterscotch pudding that doesn’t include either butter or Scotch? Only at the Violet Hour. Their tequila flip includes sherry, a fruit vanilla liquor, saline, and a whole egg. If you were too old to go trick-or-treating, this is the next best way to get your butterscotch fix.

The Nor’ Easter at Oyster Bah

If you’re looking for a brighter take on a fall drink, this is it: rye and real Vermont maple syrup, lightened up with an egg white, ginger beer, lime, and chamomile bitters. It’s a bubbly take on a whiskey sour that will go down easy and remind you of fall with every sip.