Summer’s Coming…What Will You Be Drinking?


The blizzards. The residents fighting over parking spots. The hardcore wind storms blowing everyone down the street.

What makes our brutal winters bearable is knowing that summer will eventually come. And with that comes warm and lazy days sipping cocktails alfresco.

For those chilling on home patios, decks or balconies with friends, we came across some really tasty and easy-to-make cocktails featuring the brand new Jack Daniels’ Tennessee Honey. It’s infused with a specially made honey liqueur, giving it a completely different taste from what we’re used to. But just in case it doesn’t go over well with guests on the rocks or neat, here are a couple of recipes certain to please everyone:

Jack’s Honey Ginger

1.5 oz. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
1/4 oz. Lime Juice (one squeezed lime wedge)

Combine ingredients in a tall glass over ice. Top with ginger beer or ginger ale. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Jack’s Tennessee Honey Tea

1 oz. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
1/2 oz. Cinnamon Schnapps
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
3 oz. Tea

Combine ingredients in a tall glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Sable's Swine and Thine, Commandotroepen and Marostica are on the new spring cocktail menu.

For those heading to outdoor spots for craft cocktails, several bars and restaurants have updated their menus for the season. Here’s what to expect:

There’s 24 seats outside at Hubbard Inn, the area’s newest and hottest after-work spot. Head bartender Ben Tozer has separated the menu in two categories: A Couple of Minutes and A Few Minutes, indicating how long it’s going to take for you to get your specially made sipper. A few highlights include Pimms Island (Pimm's #1, Combier, Goose Island Matilda, lime juice), French 110 (Prosecco, Plymouth gin, Grand Marnier, lemon juice) and Chicago Solstice (10 Cane Rum, raspberries, fresh basil, hibiscus elixir, port, lime juice). All cocktails are $10.

Longtime Logan Square resto Lula Café is out of the fray when it comes to “the scene,” but their cocktails are far from dated. They’ve introduced eight elixirs to the spring menu, including a pink sangria of fresh rhubarb, rosé, Grand Marnier and mint that’s ideal for drinking on the 32-seat patio. Also sounding equally refreshing is the Cherry Manhattan (Evan Williams bourbon, Leopold Bros. cherry liqueur, Carpano Antica vermouth, house-made brandied cherries) and Beauregarde (Death's Door vodka, creme de violette, egg white, orange blossom). $10 each.

Seats on Market’s rooftop lounge are some of the most coveted during the summer, and you’ll get a glimpse of the city’s skyline. Three cocktails here that caught our eye: The Duchess (Bombay Sapphire gin, Sauvignon Blanc, homemade lavender-honey, peach bitters) Coolada (Corzo silver tequila, St. Germaine, lemon juice, white grape juice, fresh basil) and The Gin Gin Shandy (Tanqueray gin, homemade ginger syrup, lemon juice. Topped with Victoria lager). $10 each.

Sable Kitchen & Bar’s 14-page cocktail menu can be quite overwhelming, especially when you’re just trying to cool out with something simple on outdoor café. So we checked them out and narrowed our favorites to three very different drinks we’re sure you’ll appreciate. Those in the mood for something sweet and savory should go for the Swine and Thine that comes with bacon-infused Ron Zacapa, crème de cacao and housemade chocolate bitters. The Commandotroepen updates the classic Champagne Cocktail with Bols Genever, rhubarb, cucumber and Prosecco. And Marostica is for those looking for something offbeat and sweet. It’s made with Nardini Grappa, blueberry syrup, Benedictine and balanced with lemon bitters. Prices range $10-$14.