It’s easy to miss the glistening equipment behind the bar until you push your way past the throngs of eager 30-somethings swarming the entrance. Once you’ve reached the inner sanctum, though, the labyrinth of tanks and pipes framed by three huge windows makes it clear: This new West Loop watering hole is a working distillery.
The drinks served at CH contain only spirits distilled onsite—vodka, gin, whiskey, and rum—but you won’t mind the short list after sipping a perfectly executed Moscow mule. Flavor-packed specials, such as the Cease and Desist (tea-infused gin, ginger syrup, honey, lemon) and the Eastern Empress (cucumber, gin, simple syrup, lemon, soda), never taste heavy-handed.
Effervescent servers give the hypertrendy spot a more welcoming feel than does the factory decor. They cheerfully break down the small plates of consulting chef Jesse Katzman (Avec, West Loop Salumi), whose hearty assortments of caviar, fish, beef, and duck are impeccably curated.
Sign up for a tour of the shiny still, which ends with a shot of vodka or gin served with a slice of rye bread and a pickle. A hefty chaser for a bold bar.