Capture the spirit(s) of fall.
There are two top contenders vying for the title of the true fall drink: the pumpkin spice latte and hard apple cider. While the former has pumpkin (big plus) and caffeine, the latter has alcohol — a slight advantage, we’d say. Get your fill of all the warm fuzzy feelings of fall by visiting one of these watering holes for a cup of spiked apple cider. Some of these establishment alter their menu by the day, so be sure to consult their daily menus before going! [Featured image: @caferobey]
1. Cafe Robey, Wicker Park/Bucktown
Cafe Robey is your destination for seasonal eats and drinks in Wicker Park and Bucktown. As for libations, Robey has a keen talent for extracting the flavors of fall and using them to concoct the most wonderful beverages. Whether its their Bourbon-spiked apple cider topped with maple whipped cream, hot chocolate, mulled wine, Horchatty Kathy cocktail, or Robey Old Fashioned, Cafe Robey will set you up nicely. Additionally, the cafe offers a delicious assortment of brunch, dinner, and dessert options based on the season’s harvest!
2. The Darling, Fulton Market
You’d be hard-pressed finding a cozier, more elegant location to enjoy a cocktail in Chicago than at The Darling. Take a seat in the beautifully moody, chandelier-lit Library room, or in one of their adorable greenhouses — particularly on colder days, and enjoy one of their heavenly cocktails. Present on their libations menu is their Fox And The Hound cocktail, one infused with Bourbon Whiskey, Barsol, pisco, plum puree, lime juice, a pinch of cinammon and salt, and of course, apple cider.
3. Petit Margeaux, Near North Side
Located on the first floor of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel is the Petit Margeaux. The French patisserie offers a spectacular selection of Parisian delicacies with locally sourced ingredients along with teas, coffees, juices, sandwiches, and desserts. When the temperatures slowly drop and the season strikes, Petit Margeaux will hook you up with a warm cup of apple cider. Santé!
4. Lonesome Rose, Logan Square
Hit the patio or rooftop at the Lonesome Rose while the weather will still let you. We’re not quite sure how well apple cider pairs with Baja Fish Tacos or Lonesome Vegetarian Burritos, but we’re sure that it goes freakin’ excellent with a plate of warm, crispy churros!
5. Parson’s Chicken & Fish, Logan Square & Lincoln Park
If for some reason you’re unfamiliar with Parson’s Chicken & Fish, you’re probably thinking to yourself: “a chicken and fish joint, eh? They must have bangin’ hot cider” and for that, friend, you would be correct. Their House Mulled Cider comes with your choice of bourbon, brandy, rum or Zubrowka, but if you want to switch things up, Parson’s also delivers on fire Hot Toddys. Furthermore, if you’re at Parson’s and not chomping down on their Hot Chicken Sandwich, you’d be doing your taste buds a major injustice.
6. Billy Sunday, Logan Square
Known for their award-winning adventurous “spirits”, Billy Sunday in Logan Square can whip up quite a few autumn cocktails with their own personal flare. From frothing-over-the-top Butterbeer, to pumpkin/apple-infused cocktails made straight from the gourd, the bar’s fall cocktail menu is made for sweater weather.
7. Racine Plumbing, Lincoln Park
For many, fall means football. If Sundays are for sports, then you can catch the game at Racine Plumbing with a burger, side of wings and other pub favorites. Come time the fall and winter months, the bar adds a few holiday touches to their cocktail menu, with mulled wine, gin and cider-infused cocktails, and heart-warming hot chocolate libations. Be warned, if any New York sports team rivals yours, you might be walking into the lions’ den.
8. The Promontory, Hyde Park
Temperatures are pretty suitable now, but when they fall, you best find refuge near the hearth in The Promontory. As the fire crackles, you can warm your body and soul with their Apple & Grapes Cider: a concoction of hot apple cider, cognac, caramel made in-house, topped off with maple whipped cream to drive it home. Also worth a healthy glass if their Momma D’s Pumpkin Pie cocktail, made with brown-butter-washed Pisco, pumpkin soda made in-house, graham cracker syrup, and some more of that maple whip.
9. The Moonlighter, Logan Square
Friendly neighborhood bar in Logan Square The Moonlighter offers a menu of burgers, salads, starters, craft beer, ciders, and spirits. Among a series of crisp and refreshing cocktails, their fall libations include a hard apple cider likely best enjoyed on their dog-friendly patio.
10. Beatnik Chicago, West Town & The Loop
Beatnik is up there as one of the most photogenic places to enjoy a warm fall sipper. Get warm inside their swanky, euro-bohemiac digs in West Town, or catch some fresh air on their riverside patio in the Loop. In addition to an eclectic medley of dishes, Beatnik offers a myriad of cocktails that hit-the-spot.
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