5 bars…

that mixed craft cocktails before they were cool

1

Empire Liquors
1566 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Serving fancy-pants drinks such as the English Breakfast (Plymouth gin, Campari, pineapple juice, Sprite; $9) since the ripe old year of 2006

 

 

2

Matchbox
770 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Squeeze into this single-file bar for fruit-infused vodkas, bourbon-soaked cherries, and pineapple gimlets ($8).

 

 

3

Matisse
674 W. Diversey Pkwy.
A long list of signature drinks includes the Kukumber Kiss, made with muddled cucumber and lime, and Bacardi Grand Melón rum ($5-$7).

 

 

4

Motel Bar
600 W. Chicago Ave.
Drinks so classic you’ve never heard of half of them (e.g., the Brown Derby: Knob Creek bourbon, grapefruit juice, honey; $9).

 

 

5

The California Clipper
1002 N. California Ave.
Classics abound, but this bar, slinging since 1937, is also home to the Purple Martin (coconut rum, fresh lemon juice, grape soda; $6).

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