Food & Drink

10 Strong-Ass Chicago Cocktails That Should Come With a Disclaimer

Published On 04/09/2015 Published On 04/09/2015
strong cocktails
Courtesy of three dots and a dash

There are cocktails, and there are strong-ass cocktails that should come with a disclaimer. These are those latter italics-ier ones, so just don't drink more than one, okay? Or do. But don't say we didn't warn you. Instead be all, "You guys totally warned me, but I did it anyway."

Courtesy of bottlefork

The Bill Brasky

Bottlefork (address and info)

River North
Named after the mythical character from the classic Saturday Night Live skit, the Bill Brasky is a mustache-slinging cocktail that leaves bridges burned and grown men weeping. Patrons are actually restricted to ordering only one of these $30 face-slappers -- which makes sense, because it’s filled with Journeyman rye, Hudson Moonshine, Buffalo Trace bourbon, Bank Note Scotch, Hammer and Tongs vermouth, orange bitters, and, apparently, “the aftershave Brasky used to woo your wife.” Also, inside the huge ice cube sits a little nudie card.

Courtesy of tippling hall

The Crippler

Tippling Hall (address and info)

Near North Side
Tippling Hall serves a solid brunch (among other meals), but order The Crippler to start your day and you may spend the rest of it, AHEM, crippled on the couch. This firecracker of a cocktail is prepared with rye whiskey, mezcal, overproof rum, Stroh jagertee, Yellow Chartreuse, and Memphis barbecue bitters. For health.

Courtesy of three dots and a dash

Pieces of Eight

Three Dots and a Dash (address and info)

River North
Important life tip: if you enter a bar where a wall of human (-looking) skulls greets you with a hundred soul-piercing stares, you should assume that the drinks served there may be able to kill a full-grown ostrich. And Three Dots and a Dash has several of those drinks, according to this sentence. If you dare, try the Pieces of Eight cocktail, which is made with (lots of) Caribbean rum, passion fruit, lemon, and falernum. It’s actually recommended for two to three people, or just one person who KNOWS WHAT’S UP.

Courtesy of nicole ess

Octopus's Garden

The Dawson (address and info)

River West
“It’s just a bit of punch. Refreshing, fruity punch made with Bacardi rum, Sherry, oleo-saccharum, lavender, thyme, and various herbs and berries plucked from the rooftop garden. I can handle this.” The last words of a curious, overconfident man.
 

Whiskey Cola

Ceres Café (address and info)

Loop
When you’ve just lost a small fortune on agricultural futures at the Chicago Board of Trade, the next step is definitely to sidle up to the bar at Ceres Café and BUY-BUY-BUY! a face-melting cocktail. Whether it’s a whiskey cola or a gin and tonic, these hefty booze bombs pretty much consist of a 7/8ths glass of liquor topped with a splash of soda. You'll notice that the regulars order a soda back so they can keep diluting the drink throughout the process. Cheer up though, next financial quarter will be better. Maybe. (Probably not.)

Courtesy of CHLOE LIST

Allocated Old Fashioned

Blackbird (address and info)

West Loop
Upon first glance, one may look at this regular-sized Old Fashioned and disregard it at as merely another drink. That would be a HUGE mistake (if you're looking for something that's not merely another drink). Created by booze wizard Kyle Davidson, the Allocated Old Fashioned features only the most select whiskeys served with a completely clear, circular ice cube that maintains the strength of the cocktail while taking eons to melt. Order one with 134.4-proof Stagg Jr. bourbon and hold on to your butt.

Courtesy of the stretch

Evers to Chance

The Stretch Bar & Grill (address and info)

Wrigleyville
The Evers to Chance is a dangerously tasty drink that can best be described as an adult root beer float. It’s made with root beer vodka, amaretto, cream, and cola, and is relatively harmless in its 16oz rendition. However, the cocktail also comes in 32oz, 64oz, and, for some reason, 128oz (!?) sizes, which means you can pretty much turn each visit into a nuclear arms race of drinking.

Courtesy of coq d'or

Executive Manhattan

Coq d'Or (address and info)

Gold Coast
As one of the oldest establishments in our fine city, the Drake Hotel’s Coq d’Or offers the kind of throwback cocktails that railroad tycoons probably drank while they sat around comparing their dodo-hair suits and monocles. Case in point: its Executive Pour Manhattan packs so much booze (4oz, to be exact) that it actually has to be served in two glasses. And any shameless capitalist will tell you that two glasses are better than one.

Courtesy of tavern on rush

Tipsy Pear Martini

Tavern on Rush (address and info)

Gold Coast
One of the signature cocktails at Tavern on Rush, the Tipsy Pear Martini offers a cutesy name but in reality, it’s about as cute as a crocodile that was just punched repeatedly in the crotch. This thing will put you in the spin cycle with 8oz of booze that include 5oz of Grey Goose La Poire vodka, 2oz of St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and 1oz of Prosecco topper.

Courtesy of the double

The Angry Lion

The Double (address and info)

Logan Square
“Hey let’s take Booker’s -- one of the strongest bourbons in existence at 127 proof -- and make it stronger with something light, like an 8.8% stout beer from Sri Lanka,” said no one ever, EXCEPT the thrill-seeking drink slingers at The Double.

Sign up here for our daily Chicago email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Raf ordered a strong drink in 2009 and has been babysitting it for the past six years. Tell him to speed it up at @RafFoSho.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Bottlefork 441 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 (Near North Side)

It's hard out there for a small plates restaurant that straddles the line between bar and full-service dinner restaurant, yet Bottlefork in River North manages to stand above the pack. The food menu spans a variety of cuisines and dietary restrictions, featuring dishes like tuna crudo, crispy Brussels sprouts with chorizo, buttermilk fried chicken, and a critically-acclaimed ground bacon burger. The cocktail menu, complete with illustrations, is divided into categories based on flavor and style: fruity, smoky, dark, and "Gentlemen's Cut."

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Tippling Hall 646 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

From the folks behind Mercadito Hospitality, Tippling Hall is a beer hall/cocktail lounge that focuses on "global comfort food" and boasts a highly impressive cocktail menu.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Three Dots and a Dash 435 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

Three Dots and a Dash is a tiki-themed speakeasy in the back of Bub City that's pouring out crazy tropical cocktails in vessels like glass skulls and treasure chests.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. The Dawson 730 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (West Loop)

The Dawson's got a robust space to dole out incredible pork belly tacos, chicken-fried steak, house-made sodas, and serious libations.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Ceres Cafe 141 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604 (Loop)

Where else besides a Jewish deli would you look for a manly, old-school sandwich? How about a bar and grill in the Board of Trade? No commodity meat is being bought and sold here, however, as the staff grinds their own grass-fed beef in-house for a hand-packed patty in your burger or melt.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Blackbird 619 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661 (West Loop)

Blackbird is the foundation upon which James Beard Award-winning Chef Paul Kahan’s One Off Hospitality Group was built. The West Loop fine dining staple boasts elevated and creative Midwestern cuisine through dishes crafted using simplistic techniques and carrying complex flavor. The space itself mimics the menu with a minimalist approach to design and stark whites to boost its already vibrant energy. The cocktail and wine lists are well-rounded, thoughtful, and complementary to the menu. Blackbird is open -- and bustling -- for lunch Monday through Friday, and reserves its focus for the highly sought-after reservations on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. The Stretch Bar & Grill 3485 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657 (Wrigleyville)

Fourteen TVs and two video walls ensure that you won't miss the game at The Stretch, while a delicious assortment of burgers, beers, and mason jar cocktails (available in 13, 32, 64, and 128oz versions!) ensure that you don't go hungry or thirsty, either.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Coq D'Or 140 E Walton Pl, Chicago, IL 60611 (Gold Coast)

As one of the oldest establishments in our fine city, the Drake Hotel’s Coq d’Or offers the kind of throwback cocktails that railroad tycoons probably drank while they sat around comparing their dodo-hair suits and monocles. Case in point: its Executive Pour Manhattan packs so much booze (4oz, to be exact) that it actually has to be served in two glasses. And any shameless capitalist will tell you that two glasses are better than one.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Tavern on Rush 1031 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611 (Gold Coast)

Tavern on Rush's got a charcoal-grilled Wagyu ribeye chop... need we say more??

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. The Double 3545 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Named for "An altered state of being brought on by boundless drinking..." and also probably the size of beverage you're going to want to order, The Double excels in almost all areas of drink -- creative cocktails, even more creative beer-tails, an extensive bottled beer selection, and a tight list of special, barrel strength spirits fill out the menu.

Clickbait