10 Ways to Drink Tequila (Now That You're a Grown-Up)
One has habanero snow
If your last encounter with tequila was during spring break, it’s time to revisit the spirit. Chicago bartenders happen to be very, uh, intoxicated with tequila at the moment--and you know they’re not just whipping up blended margaritas. Here are 10 Mexican cocktails to put you in a good mood. Oh, and disclaimer: A few mezcal cocktails made the list. It is tequila’s sister spirit, after all.
The Simple Margarita at Green Street Local
So, you like to play it safe with tequila. Fair enough. Here’s your straight-up margarita. This one’s made with fresh lime juice and a dash of Grand Marnier, and it’s served in a martini glass. See? Perfectly distinguished.
130 S. Green St.; 312-226-6565 or greenstreetlocal.com
The Baseworld Paradise at Mezcaleria Las Flores
To explore the more complex side of Mexican spirits, head to this hip new bar in a former flower shop. Complement the perfect location with the Baseworld Paradise, the perfect combination of artisanal mezcal with Victoria beer, pineapple and lemongrass.
3149 W. Logan Blvd.; 773-278-2215 or mezcalerialasflores.com
The Falconry Demonstration at Mezcaleria Las Flores
You’re not getting out of this spot after just one cocktail. The Falconry Demonstration is a must-try and has a lovely blush hue from its fresh blood orange cordial. There’s also mezcal, egg whites and hibiscus in the mix.
The Unknown Death at Mezcaleria Las Flores
Sorry, you’re on the hook for one more. (Now you know: Bring friends and share.) This creepy-sounding cocktail actually has a bright, zesty flavor, helped along with fresh lemon and orange zest. Plus, it’s served in a Mexican hot-chocolate bowl and topped with orchids.
The Promontory Paloma at The Promontory
The Hyde Park restaurant has excellent live music and an amazingly fizzy tequila cocktail to boot. The Paloma is stirred up with hearth-charred grapefruit soda and garnished with grapefruit and mint. Say hello to your standby summer drink.
Setena 70 at Kinmont
You love Kinmont for its excellent seafood. But don’t underestimate its tequila cocktails. The Setena 70 combines tequila with house-made jalapeño syrup, Prosecco and fresh lime. The combo goes together like oysters and mignonette.
The Melocoton at Cantina 1910
If you decide to make a habit of that sparkling tequila thing, here’s something else for you. At Cantina 1910, tequila is stirred up with peach, an herbal liqueur and local sparkling wine. Use it to toast the restaurant's awesome garlicky fish tacos.
5025 N. Clark St.; 773-506-1910 or cantina-1910.com
Thriller at La Mez Agave Lounge
Mercadito’s cozy basement lounge whips up killer mezcal cocktails. It’s tough to pick one standout, but order the Thriller if you’re in the market for something purple--and delicious. The drink also has apple and bitter lemon soda.
108 W. Kinzie St.; mercaditorestaurants.com
FloGo at La Mez Agave Lounge
Who can resist a drink topped with gummy bears? So, it’s settled. You’ll also need to try the FloGo. It’s made with mezcal and white grape, lemon agave and lager beer. Oh, and the official name of that garnish is “shish kabears.” (Squeal.)
The Drinky McDrinkerson at The Sixth
The cocktail bar that brought us Trix-flavored ice cubes strikes again, with a new tequila-based cocktail that’s set to hit the menu any day. If you can peel your eyes away from the amazing, pineapple-shaped vessel the drink is served in, you’ll notice something pink and frosty on top. Oh, that’s just habanero-flavored snow.
2220 W. Lawrence Ave.; thesixthbar.com