Chicago Bar Crawl with the Chilled 100

Chilled magazine marketing manager, Max Ferro took to the streets of Chicago with a mission to find the best craft cocktails in the city.

Obviously, he couldn’t go to every bar in the Windy City however, with assistance from local Chilled 100 Member Michael Huebner, he found a few amazing bars along way. We checked in with the veteran bartenders Max uncovered and found out what makes their bar so great.

Donavan Mitchem, mixologist

Donavan Mitchem

Photo by Alan Klehr

MONEYGUN

Donavan Mitchem, beverage director at MONEYGUN

What makes your bar stand out?

The thing that makes MONEYGUN unique is that we are able to provide such an elevated and well-crafted product in a casual, laid-back environment. This gives our guests the best of both worlds in terms of providing carefully crafted, well-thought out classic cocktails at a reasonable price in a room that you would wouldn’t mind spending a few hours in.

What kind of crowd do you get at your bar?

As cliché as it may sound, MONEYGUN hosts a very diverse group of guests. Our location and proximity to the West Loop gives us a great mixture of young professionals, service industry employees, and tourists. Our laid-back atmosphere, powered by our carefully curated playlists, attention to lighting and sound, and our mastery of well-known classic cocktails, brings in people of all ages and walks of life from all across Chicago.

What is your favorite thing about your bar?

My favorite thing about MONEYGUN is that we have been able to stick to our ethos that we are just a bar. In the ever-changing landscape of Chicago’s food and drink community we’ve been able to stick to what we do best and provide amazing cocktails and creativity, while unapologetically creating the atmosphere that we want our guests to enjoy.

Pimm's Cup

Pimm’s Cup

Pimm’s Cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Pimm’s
  • 1/2 oz. Aviation Gin
  • 1/2 oz. MG House Sugar Blend
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of Cucumber Strawberry Relish
  • MG Ginger Beer
  • Mint and Relish (for Garnish)

Lauren Parton, mixologist

Lauren Parton

Photo by Tina Smothers Photography

VOL. 39 AT KIMPTON GRAY HOTEL

Lauren Parton, general manager

What makes your bar stand out?

Vol. 39 provides a luxury experience without being too pretentious. The best compliment that I received from a guest is that she has never felt comfortable going to a bar by herself, but has finally found her “Cheers.”

What kind of crowd do you get at your bar?

We are in the middle of the Financial District in Chicago. We draw in a lot of the after-work crowd from the banks and law firms in the area. Our busy times are opposite of most bars, we are on a waitlist from 4pm-8pm Monday through Friday. Now that we are over a year old, we are starting to draw in more of the pre- and post-theater guests as well.

What is your favorite thing about your thing about your bar?

At Vol. 39, we only have bartenders, no servers. The bartenders split their time between the floor and the bar. The atmosphere that this provides is one-of-a-kind. We have extended the feeling of sitting at the bar and talking spirits with your bartender to the entire room. We have a large base of regulars, and I think it’s in large part thanks to this approach.

Vol. 39 Cocktail, with christmas tree

Vol. 39 Cocktail

Vol. 39 Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Absolut Elyx
  • 3/4 oz. Ruby Port
  • 1/2 oz. Dry Curaçao
  • 1/4 oz. Lime Cordial
  • 2 drops Saline Solution
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Preparations: Combine ingredients in cocktail glass.


Elizabeth Mickiewicz, mixologist

Elizabeth Mickiewicz

EZ INN

Elizabeth Mickiewicz, beverage director

What makes your bar stand out?

We are a neighborhood tavern open 365 days a year from 5p.m. to 2 a.m. Vintage feel, free jukebox, great Boilermaker deals, and a simple list of classics. We also serve Miller High Life for $1 on Mondays.

What kind of crowd do you get at your bar?

We get all sorts of people ranging from our weekday neighborhood crowd to our dance party crowd on weekends and everything in between.

What is your favorite thing about your bar?

We are an unassuming neighborhood bar that offers solid classic cocktails.

Dangerously Delicious, welcome signs

Dangerously Delicious

Dangerously Delicious

Ingredients:

  • 750 ml Sombra Mezcal
  • 1000 ml El Jimador Reposado Tequila
  • 750 ml Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado Sherry
  • 3500 ml Coconut Milk
  • 375 ml Coco Lopez
  • 1500 ml Bittersweet Chocolate Syrup (Cocoa Powder, Sugar, Cinnamon, Ancho Chilies, Vanilla Extract, Salt)
  • 3800 ml Filtered Water
  • Freeze-Dried Micro Marshmallows (for Garnish)

Preparation: Serve as a frozen Mexican ‘hot’ chocolate made in a slushy machine.


Shaunna McCarthy, mixologist

Shaunna McCarthy

Photo by Richard Shilkus

DRUMBAR

Shaunna McCarthy, bartender

What makes your bar stand out?

Drumbar has an incredible whiskey selection and rotating seasonal cocktails that make it a stand out destination for a date, business meetings, and late-night revelry!

What kind of crowd do you get at your bar?

We get an eclectic mix of locals and tourists alike that spans all ages and genders. We strive to make everyone feel at home in our sexy, dark-lit space. The after-work professional crowd gives way to a more vibrant nightlife, with DJs and special events.

What is your favorite thing about your bar?

My favorite part about Drumbar is the way it feels like family. From the staff to the clientele, it’s easy to lose track of time with such great company.

Falling Fast, cocktail

Falling Fast

Falling Fast

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Angel’s Envy Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 oz. St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. Demerara Syrup (2:1)
  • bar spoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut bitters
  • Rosemary (for Garnish)

Preparation: Combine ingredients over ice in rocks glass.