Chicago 'Best Drinking City' In U.S., According To G.Q. Magazine

By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — Welcome to the City Of Big Drinkers.

Earlier this week Chicago's Art Institute was named the best museum in America.

Wednesday, a new accolade: Chicago is the "Best Drinking City," according to GQ magazine.

Chicago has something for everybody, from cozy corner dives on nearly every block to high-end (and highly complex) creations at places like Aviary.

Beer? Check. Gin? You bet. Rare bourbon? Done.

"These days you can hardly walk a block without passing a packed new bar. It's a full-on drinkable renaissance for everyone from beer drinkers, to gin lovers, to rare-bourbon aficionados. So book your tickets, do a cleanse in preparation, and get yourself to the Windy City," GQ says.

The magazine lauds craft beer makers like Half Acre and even tips a pint to Goose Island, now owned by an international mega-beverage company.

The best beer at a stadium goes to The Cell, where fans can enjoy Bells, Half Acre and Two Brothers.

Rush Street had lost its lustre years ago as the city's premier drinking strip.

It has shifted to Logan Square, along Milwaukee, which is home to places like Revolution Brewing, the vodka-producing Chicago Distilling Company and lounges like The Whistler and Analogue.

Then there is Aviary, which GQ describes as like kids showing off at the science fair, but making stunning drinks.

In one cocktail, "scotch, ginger, lemon, and honey are boiled in what chef Micah Melton calls a "vacuum coffee pot," then cooled with dry ice."

GQ attributes the cocktail lounge explosion to its patriarch, Violet Hour, which opened in 2006.

Progeny from V.H. has led to places like Blackbird, Analogue and Henry's Swing Club, according to G.Q.