Forget the rum and coke the next time you’re out and about in Chicago, and go for something that will conjure the holiday spirit instead. From ingredients like cranberry to hot cocktails, all of these restaurants/bars will have something to keep away the Chicago winter chill while celebrating the holidays. Even better? Many will even make you feel like you’ve got Christmas in a glass!
18 E. Bellevue Place
Chicago, IL 60611
This downtown restaurant and bar is all about seasonal ingredients, and that’s why, come the holiday season, it is all about seasonal cocktails too. In past years, Luxbar has had drinks designed to warm you up, like its Irish coffee, to others that are like Christmas in a cup, such as its winter mojito made with rum, lime, drunken cranberries, soda water and mint. A drink here is a great way to kick off the holiday season with elegance and style.
BIG Bar & Brasserie
151 E. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
Everything is big in this Hyatt Regency bar, from the number of TVs to the size of the dishes and cocktails. Come Christmas time, look out for a creative cocktail that’s full of holiday spirit, from the name of the drink to the ingredients. In past years, BIG bar has served a “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, But Left Her Eggnog” drink, which featured Bacardi Oakheart, Liquor 43 and Rumchata along with some delicious vanilla ice cream, pumpkin pie spice and a cinnamon stick. You’ll be licking your lips, it’s just that good.
The Walnut Room
111 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Create a new family tradition by gathering around the 45-foot Christmas tree in Macy’s The Walnut Room, which is located on the department store’s 7th floor. While the spacious restaurant is very family friendly, it also offers a wide range of signature holiday cocktails. One of those drinks is its ‘Cinnamon Toast’ drink, which is made with apple cider, Amaretto, cinnamon, sugar and whipped cream. In other words, it’s the perfect drink to warm you up from head to toe before you go back out into the bitter winter cold to continue your holiday shopping.
Related: A Guide to Chicago’s Holiday Markets
401 N. Wabash Ave. (Trump Tower)
Chicago, IL 60611
While enjoying a view of the frozen Chicago river from Trump Tower, you can be sipping — and splurging — on one of Rebar’s infamous seasonal punchbowls. In past years, the lounge has served a Winter Magic cocktail that is so enormous that it makes Rebar’s small plates look even smaller, and you’ll have to share with friends (it’s made with Pinot Noir and brandy, as well as allspice, cinnamon and star anise) for a whopping $255. Not in your price range? This spot has other seasonal cocktails too, like a jalapeno-infused Grey Goose vodka that’s made with cinnamon, sugar and ginger puree, as well as a Snow-tini, which features a blend of mint-infused cream with Godiva white.
2152 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
For a grownup eggnog, look no further than this Bucktown restaurant. In past years, the eggnog has featured Courvoisier VS, Averna Amaro, Goslings Black Seal Rum and Benedictinge, along with a whole egg, spiced syrup and heavy cream. But this isn’t the only holiday specialty. Along with a seasonal — and snout-to-tail — menu, the mixologists here come up with a variety of seasonal, hand-crafted drinks each and every season, and that goes for the holidays too.
Related: Best Cocktail Bars in Chicago
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s writing about a variety of topics for numerous websites and blogs, and working part-time at a culinary vacation company based in the Windy City. Some of her work can be found at Examiner.com.