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Cool Concoctions

Say hello to spring with these chilled libations.
Thursday Apr 09, 2009.     By Stacy Warden
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

The Pineapple Express from Martini ParkThe Pineapple Express from Martini Park
As much as we love Irish coffee, glogg and hot toddys, they just aren't as enjoyable during the warmer months. Now that the sun is out, we've moved on to these crisp, cool libations.

Have a blockbuster-inspired cocktail at Martini Park
We're not sure if Martini Park's Pineapple Express was named after the meteorological phenomenon or the blockbuster comedy, and we really don't care. The drink could've been named after our former governor and we'd still give it two thumbs up. But hey, we're suckers for glow sticks and this fruity cocktail (a mix of pineapple vodka, Hipnotiq and pineapple juice) just happens to get garnished with one. If you prefer drinks that don't light up, try the lemon-garnished Fountain of Youth (Veev liqueur, blueberry puree and pomegranate juice), or the flirtatious Spring Fling (rum, coconut water, strawberry puree, pineapple and lemon juice), $8 each.

Line up for lemonade at Silver Cloud
This 1940s-themed neighborhood diner offers one of the city's most extensive seasonal cocktail lists with more than 10 Spring-inspired libations. We recommend the appropriately named Bucktown lemonade, with orange and raspberry vodkas, lemonade and 7-Up, or the less appealing swamp water (we promise it tastes better than it sounds) with Parrot Bay Pineapple, Blue Curacao, orange and pineapple juice, $8 each. And of course, all of Silver Cloud's spring coolers taste better when enjoyed on the restaurant's sidewalk patio.

Sip a classic Cosmo at Duchamp
Also located in Bucktown, Duchamp has its own discerning list of cool libations (sorry, no glow sticks here). First, there's the Paradise with Hennessey, ginger, orange slice and orange bitters, served over ice, $11. Next up is the Suzanne, also served over ice, which brings together vodka, St. Germaine Elderflower, housemade ginger syrup, fresh lemon and club soda, $10. And because cosmos never go out of style (at least not since Carrie Bradshaw brought them back), Duchamp is offering its own version of the popular drink with cranberry-infused vodka, fresh lime and Cointreau, $12.

The Cosmo from DuchampThe Cosmo from Duchamp
Get botanical at Between Boutique Cafe and Lounge
Some people get streets and universities named after them. Others, like Between Boutique Cafe & Lounge co-owner Lu Lu Anderson, get cocktails. The drinkable version of Lu Lu is a mix of St Germain Elderflower and Hendrick's Gin, topped with sparkling Prosecco and violet liqueur. To keep in line with the restaurant's swanky atmosphere, the botanical cocktail is created tableside in a champagne saucer. If you're up for something a little spicy, check out the honeyfruit martini, made with Ukranian honey-pepper vodka, fresh grapefruit juice and ginger liqueur, garnished with flecks of black pepper. And if you've got room for one more, we recommend finishing with the white chocolate raspberry, a rich combination of Godiva dark chocolate, Chambord and vodka, topped with a frothy blanket of Godiva white chocolate perhaps a bit heavy for spring, but too good to skip.

Try a tongue twisting cocktail at Lumen
This late-night lounge, located in West Town, has become something of a destination spot for local socialites. The sleek decor and ample space (5,000 square feet) may have something to do with that, but it's the bar's innovative cocktails that keep the crowd coming back. Lumen's spring-inspired drink menu starts with L'Orange Crush, a mix of Grey Goose L'Orange, Campari, Amaretto, orange juice and seltzer. The fruity concoction, served in a highball glass and garnished with an orange peel, is a definite win, but it's nowhere near as fancy as the La Poire Golden Fleur with Grey Goose La Poire, St. Germain Elderflower, lemon juice and sparkling champagne. (Note: Bring your own glow stick.)


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