Holiday Cocktails in Chicago

It's December in Chicago, which means holiday cocktails are EVERYWHERE.

I wanted to write a big list of the best holiday bars and cocktails, so I reached out for your help on my instagram story -- and you all sent me a TON of awesome suggestions.

Thank you!!

Best Holiday Cocktails In Chicago

The list includes everyone who first recommended each place, as well as any extra tips you sent me.

If you know of any awesome spots that aren't on this list, please add them in the comments below.

And as always, if you enjoy this list, please PIN and SHARE it. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

Bars That Go All Out

First up: Chicago bars that get WAY into the holiday spirit.

They're decked out from head to toe for the month of December, with decorations and festive drinks to match.

1. CH Distillery

Moose Mug Frozen Eggnog. This is the cocktail that started it all, and my personal contribution to my Chicago Holiday Cocktail list.

CH Distillery goes all out every December, throwing a month-long party called A Cocktail Story (based off of Christmas Vacation).

There's an illustrated, themed cocktail menu with lots of holiday drinks, lots of holiday decor, and lots of fun. These are some of THE coolest holiday cocktails in Chicago.

HOLIDAY COCKTAILS INCLUDE: Frozen Eggnog, a Gingerbread Mule, a Mistletoe Gin & Tonic, and a cocktail for 2 served in a gigantic fortune cookie(!)
SEE THE FULL MENU: A Cocktail Story 
NEIGHBORHOOD: West Loop
RECOMMENDED BY:
me!

2. Lost Lake

Lost Lake totally transforms itself -- into Sippin Santa's Surf Shack -- for the holidays. There are decorations and little holiday touches EVERYWHERE.

They're offering their typical tropical cocktails with a wintry twist and festive glassware -- and they all look SO EPIC.

COCKTAILS: I don't even know where to start, so just flip through their last ~10 instagram posts to see the menu
NEIGHBORHOOD: Logan Square
RECOMMENDED BY: @windycitynutrition

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3. Butch McGuire's

I can't even get over the decor in here. Go for the decorations; stay for the green Christmas In Your Mouth shots.

Butch McGuire's gets beyond decked out for big holidays. There are lights...everywhere. It's hard to even put it into words, so I'll let their geotag do the talking.

HOLIDAY COCKTAILS INCLUDE: Christmas In Your Mouth shots
NEIGHBORHOOD: Gold Coast (Division St.)
FIRST RECOMMENDED BY: @francesca_rose3 

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4. Fox Bar

Fox Bar, a public bar on the second floor of Soho House, is super decked out for the holidays.

They're serving festive drinks all month in the cutest Santa mugs and candy cane glasses.

NEIGHBORHOOD: West Loop (2nd floor of Soho House, inside Chicken Shop)
RECOMMENDED BY: @francesca_rose3

5. Simon's Tavern

A bunch of you messaged me about the glögg at Simon's Tavern.

Simon's REALLY celebrates their glögg -- starting with a gigantic, neon, red & green "It's Glögg Time!" sign on their front window.

Glögg is a seasonal drink, served now through February. It's served with gingerbread cookies on top -- and according to @sharbearcooks, it's good luck to break the cookie into 3 pieces. So, break away!

HOLIDAY COCKTAILS INCLUDE: The Glögg, topped with gingerbread cookies.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Andersonville
FIRST RECOMMENDED BY:
 @sharbearcooks and @thebittygritty

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6. Park & Field

Park and Field has gone next-level by turning their entire outdoor patio into a Christmas tree farm. Head over to pick out your own Christmas tree in their "winter wonderland."

They're serving holiday drinks topped with a mountain of whipped cream, and hosting holiday activities all month long.

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Hot Toddys, boozy hot chocolate
NEIGHBORHOOD:
Logan Square
RECOMMENDED BY: @chicagoliquidadventures

7. Walnut Room

The Walnut Room at Macy's certainly wins the prize for most beautiful, gigantic indoor Christmas Tree.

Their holiday cockail menu includes their well-known Poinsettia drinks (sparkling wine + cranberry). While this spot isn't quite as intense as some of the holiday spots in this section, it's hard to put this huge tree anywhere else but here. 🥂🎄

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Poinsettia drinks, Cinammon Toast cocktail, Eggnog Brandy Alexander
NEIGHBORHOOD:
Loop (within Macy's, on State St)
RECOMMENDED BY: @francesca_rose3

8. Miller's Pub

It's Tom & Jerry Season at Miller's Pub - a fact I somehow neglected to include on this list until my friend Paige clued me in. Whoops!

Tom & Jerrys at Miller's Pub are a Chicago institution, announced outside the pub each year on a marquee sign and served in a no-frills brown mug. Have you had yours yet this year?

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Tom & Jerry
NEIGHBORHOOD:
Loop
RECOMMENDED BY: @paigeworthy

Christmas Pop-Ups

Go here if you want to feel like you stepped directly into the North Pole. It's Santa cocktails, or nothing at all.

These are limited offerings (most are December only) and we're in a city, so.... expect crowds.

9. Happy's

Happy's is a holiday pop-up in the former swimming pool at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel.

It's open on Fridays and Saturdays, this month only. Click the schedule and link below for specific dates and times.

OPEN: Fridays & Saturday nights in December (more info here)
NEIGHBORHOOD: Loop, in the Chicago Athletic Association hotel
RECOMMENDED BY: @volvodriverdeb

10. Frosty's

Frosty's is a ticketed Christmas pop-up that's open from 6pm-4am on various nights. Use the Tock ticketing system to buy tickets for the night you want to go -- there are lots of different options, depending on what you're looking for.

Heads up, I did hear that there were long waits on opening night (even for those with tickets). Like any new spot, I'd give them a few days to get the kinks out - maybe book tickets for a bit later this month!

OPEN: various nights in December & early Jan (book tickets in advance here)
NEIGHBORHOOD: Near Goose Island
RECOMMENDED BY: @tekstiles

11. Nick's | It's A Wonderful Life (SOLD OUT)

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that FitzGerald's is throwing an epic, ticketed, Wednesdays-only It's A Wonderful Life-themed pop-up this month. The bad news is that it's entirely sold out. 🙁

They even added an extra Wednesday (which is also sold out), but their site says you MAY be able to get tickets by calling the # listed here. Let me know if this doesn't work.

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Flaming rum punch
NEIGHBORHOOD:
Berwyn, IL
TICKETS: currently sold out 
RECOMMENDED BY:
@francesca_rose3

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12. Christkindlmarket

The pop-up to end all pop-ups is the annual Christkindlmarket! No list of holiday cocktails would be complete without it.

There are 3 locations: downtown Chicago, the Park at Wrigley, and Naperville. Buy an annual collectible mug, fill it with Glühwein, and check out all of the beautiful holiday creations from around the world.

Of course, it can get super crowded. If you can make it during a weekday and/or further away from Christmas, it may be (slightly) less busy)

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Glühwein- hot spiced wine in collectible mugs
NEIGHBORHOOD:
Loop; Wrigleyville; Naperville
RECOMMENDED BY: everyone

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Simply Wintry Cocktails

Maybe you want to add some holiday cheer to your evening without getting mobbed by an Ugly Sweater Party.

Is that too much to ask?? 😂

Here are some great restaurants and bars with just a touch of holiday cheer.

13. Baptiste & Bottle

I am SERIOUSLY eyeing up the Bourbon S'mores Hot Chocolate at Baptiste & Bottle, a delicious restaurant on the 20th floor of the Conrad hotel.

It's made with peanut butter bourbon (what!!), graham crackers, valrona chocolate, and banana marshmallow. They have spiked eggnog, too.

Check out the Conrad's lobby, just 1 floor below, for beautiful holiday decorations as well.

COCKTAILS INLUDE: S'Mores Hot Chocolate, Spiked Eggnog
NEIGHBORHOOD:
River North (20th floor of The Conrad)
RECOMMENDED BY: @everythingerica

Psst... Baptiste is also #17 on my Chicago Brunch Checklist!

S'Mores Hot Chocolate at Baptiste and Bottle in Chicago

14. Morton's Steakhouse

Morton's Steakhouse is offering a holiday cocktail called A Partridge In A Pear Tree - a blend of Grey Goose “La Poire” Vodka, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, lemon juice, and simple syrup, topped with La Marca Prosecco and a cinnamon-sugar rim.

Steak and cocktails? Sign me up.

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Partridge In A Pear Tree
NEIGHBORHOOD:
Loop; Gold Coast
RECOMMENDED BY: @supervicky55

Partridge In A Pear Tree from Morton's Steakhouse in Chicago

15. Drumbar

Starting December 11, rooftop whiskey bar Drumbar will be serving a hot toddy called the Redbreast 12 Hot Toddy.

It's made with Redbreast 12 Irish whiskey, pomegranate Aigre Doux, cinnamon, and lemon. Cheers! 🥃🍋

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Redbreast 12 Hot Toddy
NEIGHBORHOOD:
Gold Coast
RECOMMENDED BY: @ohjepson

Drumbar Hot Toddy in Chicago

16. Rhine Hall

Rhine Hall is a local, family owned, small-batch fruit brandy distillery -- and one of my favorite local distilleries.

Their vision for their holiday cocktail, the Apple Squared, is something you can enjoy in their distillery or make at home -- so to that extent, they've provided me with the recipe details here:

Apple Squared
1 1/2 oz apple brandy 2 oz of mulled cider*
Garnish with brandied cherry and lemon
*Mulled cider:
Toast 2-3 cinnamon sticks, tsp of clove, tsp of allspice in a pot, add cider. Heat for 20 mins on medium heat. Strain.

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Apple Squared; locally distilled fruit brandies
NEIGHBORHOOD:
West Town
RECOMMENDED BY: @jennysolkatz

Rhine Hall Cocktail in Chicago

17. The Gwen Hotel

The 5th-floor bar at The Gwen Hotel has an awesome outdoor curling setup and a new menu of seasonal hot drinks, like their buttered rum punch.

The rum punch and a few other cocktails come in large format, meant to be shared by 4-6 friends around the bar's patio fire pits.

COCKTAILS INLUDE: rum punch (serves 4-6), maple old fashioned, lux chocolate
NEIGHBORHOOD:
Michigan Ave (Gwen Hotel is on the 5th floor, right above Nordstrom)
RECOMMENDED BY: @natrosehill

18. The Weber Grill

It's steak and holiday cocktails again at this spot -- and no complaints on my end.

The Weber Grill has created a candy cane cocktail called The Nutty Elf. It's made with house-infused peppermint vodka and served with a candy came rim.

[photo coming soon!]

COCKTAILS INLUDE: The Nutty Elf
NEIGHBORHOOD:
River North
SENT IN BY: @webergrill

19. Mastro's Steakhouse

Okok, one final steak and cocktail spot.

Enjoy a Winter Whisper from Mastro's Steakhouse to finish your meal -- it's made with RumChata, Kerrygold Irish Cream, D’usse Cognac, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

You can add whipped cream upon request, and you should.

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Winter Whisper; Glitter Martini
NEIGHBORHOOD:
River North 
RECOMMENDED BY: @supervicky55

Winter Whisper Cocktail at Mastro's Steakhouse in Chicago

20. Ada Street

Ada Street is an awesome restaurant tucked away on Ada Street. It's also included on my list of 14 Hidden Restaurants in Chicago.

They've got a yummy festive cocktail called “Home For The Holidays” -- with Bison Grass Vodka, lemon, cranberry, and sage bitters. I just love the simple mix of red and green in this cocktail!

COCKTAILS INLUDE: "Home for the Holidays"
NEIGHBORHOOD:
West Town / Noble Square
RECOMMENDED BY: @hannah.k.jacobs

21. SideDoor

SideDoor has added 2 beautiful cocktails to their holiday menu -- the Red Ryder BB Gun (on the right in the image), whose garnishes on top mimic a holly leaf.

The cocktail on the left is called Overnight at Gimbel's, and is made with heavy cream, egg yolk, pumpkin puree, and a cinnamon stick on top.

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Red Ryder BB Gun; Overnight at Gimbel's
NEIGHBORHOOD:
River North
RECOMMENDED BY: @_crooncat

SideDoor Holiday Cocktails

22. Cindy's

The winter vision at Cindy's is to feel like you're sitting in a giant snowglobe, drinking festive cocktails and overlooking our beautiful city.

They're serving the Sweet Poison, a riff on a hot toddy and a Russian drink called Sbiten. It's made with Krogstad aquavit, Cocchi Rosa, red currant, Chinese 5-spice, honey, and Peychaud’s bitters. 

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Sweet Poison
NEIGHBORHOOD:
Loop (top floor of Chicago Athletic Association Hotel)
RECOMMENDED BY: @griffinsuncle

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23. Randolph St. Market - SipSmith

And finally -- word on the street is that SipSmith was serving up some AMAZING Gingerbread Sours at last month's Randolph Street Market.

I'm not sure yet whether they'll be back for the December holiday market (Dec 16-17 this year) -- but if they are, it sounds like you'll want to line up for one of these.

COCKTAILS INLUDE: Gingerbread Sour (click for the recipe)
NEIGHBORHOOD:
Fulton Market
RECOMMENDED BY: @mkcorbet

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Holiday Cocktails in Chicago by 312food

I hope you enjoyed this crowdsourced list of Holiday Cocktails in Chicago! If you did, it would mean the world to me if you shared and/or pinned it.

And as always, please let me know in the comments if there are any great spots I missed. I may add them!

Thanks for reading. 🙂  -Erin

MORE HOLIDAY STUFF

 

The BEST holiday cocktails in Chicago. Bars, restaurants, and Christmas pop-ups!

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