Trees, lush greenery, and enormous skylights make the inside of Aba, Lettuce Entertain You’s new Mediterranean restaurant and bar, feel like an homage to endless summer. But since we’re still enjoying actual summer, you’ve got plenty of time to make use of one of the most exceptional new spots for patio drinking. Liz Pearce, who created the cocktail menu, wanted to keep the drinks light, refreshing, and “crushable,” and the Mediterranean theme led her to include ingredients like pistachios, honey, and arak (an anise-flavored spirit traditional in the Middle East). Station yourself (and five or six of your closest friends) outside on a couch near a fire pit, and quench your thirst with a shareable large-format cocktail, like the Picnic Basket ($80), bourbon and watermelon juice topped off with prosecco and served in a copper watering can filled with fresh herbs. “You can pour it directly into your mouth if you want to,” Pearce says. Not in the mood to share? Order a Life on Freezy Street ($12), a slushy made with white wine and apricot, grapefruit, passion fruit, and lime juice. “You could drink it all day long,” Pearce says, and given the surroundings, you just might.
302 N. Green St., West Loop