Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Feb 25, 2009 08:46 PM

Chicago's Drink

I was on a business trip two weeks ago and was able to have a few cocktails at the Violet Hour. Very impressive and kudos to their entire staff for a job well done. That made me think what is Chicago's signature drink? Is it Scotch, is it a certain cocktail? What is it?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. BUD MAN, CUB FAN is all you need to know when drinking in Chicago.

    4 Replies
      1. re: rubinow

        Agreed, before Bud Light ponnied up to pay for new bleachers, Wrigley=Old Style.

        Actually if we go back very far, Pabst Blue Ribbon was the beer that won a Blue Ribbon at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition. While Pabst was really a Milwaukee beer (as all good beers are, sorry bud) you'll see tons of old bar signs throughout the city.

        1. re: jbontario

          I'm a baseball and overall sports fan so I appreciate that. My son has a Cubs warmup jersey and a Bears ear warmer and I don't even like either team that much. So, thanks for those notes but I'm thinking more of the lines of cocktails and not cheap beer. I will have an occasional PBR to mix it up.

          1. re: BurtonBailey

            Da Bears, Da Bulls, Da Cubs and Da Sox are good for a SNL laugh, but the stereotype just doesn't hold up.

            If we're talking beer, PBR and Bud Light may be the stuff of ballparks, but they're hardly unique to this town. The good stuff is at Goose Island. My personal favorite is 312 (named for Chicago's primary downtown area code).

            Beyond that I really don't know of a drink or cocktail that is especially unique or signature to Chicago.

    1. Whiskey, especially Bourbon, has a history in Chicago. During prohibition they were running whiskey up to Chicago from Kentucky. It's one of the reasons Beam is still headquartered in Chicagoland to this day. The only bar I've ever seen with Jim Beam on tap is in Chicago.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Shane Greenwood

        Actually Beam is just owned by a company HQ'd in the suburbs of Chicago--Fortune Brands is a multi-billion dollar consumer products company that was based in New Jersey when they acquired Beam in the late 1960s. Beam has always been made in Kentcuky and, ss such, it's really just a coincidence that the brand is owned in Illinois. Further, my understanding of the the whiskey running trade during prohibition was that the vast majority of commercial whiskey illegally brought into the US was from Canada--hence Canadian Club's widespread availability. Beam, Jack Daniels, and the other mid-Southern distilleries were closed during prohibition.

        1. re: jbontario

          They are headquartered in Chicago, but it is made in Kentucky. In Paul Pacult's book about Beam he mentions some of the connections the Beam family had to Chicago. There is definitely a connection to Beam and bourbon that Chicago can claim.

      2. If you are interested in local liquor you might want to check this out. The # 11 gin is fabulous.

        I've never heard of any one "Chicago" drink, except maybe green beer on St Patrick's Day. Someone did mention Goose Island, and yes, they make a great product, particularly if you go to one of the brewpubs and taste some of the offerings that don't make it to the supermarket. (They'll sell you a growler to go)

        1 Reply
        1. re: lulubelle

          lulubelle- Thanks for the North Shore info. Very cool find. I'm pretty convinced Chicago doesn't have just one drink. Thanks for the info gang and yes, I feel sorry for the diehard Cubs fans. You guys deserve a damn world champion.

        2. From my days in Chicago, I'd say the signature drink is an Old Style in the stands of Wrigley with a side of despair.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Maybe for the older fans. The younger generation drinks Miller Lite with a side of despair.

          2. The original comment has been removed