The Scene

Relax this holiday season with unique cocktails at suburban establishments

A cocktail from The Alchemist in Geneva

Holidays got you stressed out?

Sit back and relax with unique cocktails found throughout the region this holiday season.

These establishments celebrate decades of classic cocktails with an array of new and modern blends and mixes. Find your new favorite haunt or indulge in the very best elegant flavorings our region has to offer.

Jude’s Crystal Lake

19 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake


A lively, modern hot spot, Jude’s Cocktails & Nosh is not to be missed with their entertaining atmosphere and delicious menu. Choose from a variety of martinis, handcrafted cocktails, unique classics, wine and beer. Their Blueberry Cucumber cocktail features Jude’s gin mixed with blueberry puree, cucumber tonic, juicy fresh blueberries and crisp cucumber. Sip on a Sidecar cocktail, Smoke on the Water or Singapore Sling, which combines cherry, pineapple and gin flavorings. Hungry? Dive into menu items inspired by regions around the world like orange chicken, Moroccan beef skewer, pierogis, scallops and fried Wisconsin cheese curds, to name a few. Stop by and see why this cocktail bar receives rave reviews.

Ye Olde Corner Tap

3901 Main St., McHenry


A continuation of a wonderful family legacy, Ye Olde Corner Tap is located in a building rich with history and generational memories. Enjoy weekday specials including Mixology Monday, Tequila Tuesday, Whiskey and Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Freedom Friday, Shot & Bomb Saturday and Shameless Sunday, with Happy Hour throughout the week. Who doesn’t like an Old Fashioned? Try their post-Prohibition Ye Olde Fashioned on for size. Their Yoct Margarita, a signature and crowd favorite recipe, is always on the menu, and who could pass up their Giggle Juice, a stunning combination of absinthe and bourbon. Celebrate “Ye Olde” times and don’t pass up the opportunity to indulge during the modern-day roaring twenties.


477 S. Third St., Geneva


With a talented team of “alchemists,” this extraordinarily unique cocktail haven has something for any particular taste. Try out a scrumptious sip from their carefully curated crafted cocktail menu like the Grapes and Grain, featuring flavors such as orange and cinnamon blended expertly with mulled Rioja and bourbon. The East India Trading Co. is a magical mixture of star anise, curry leaves, orange, gin and Mediterranean Tonic. Or perhaps you like more complicated tastes? The Samurai Sour is the ticket with an inventive combination of egg white, Toki Japanese Whisky Lime, Togarashi, Shiranami Shochu, horseradish, lemon, wasabi and Mirin. With names like Allmost Amoxicillin, Snowbird, Pirates Dilemma and more, the Alchemist menu is a true tribute to artistic mixology and delicious libation science, and their food is just as mouthwatering. Nosh on specialty cheeses, small plates like oyster mushrooms and citrus burrata, or a full-sized entrée selection including Butcher’s Cut Steak and grilled octopus, to name a few.

Mockingbird Bar + Garden

217 Barrington Ave., East Dundee


Open Wednesday through Sunday, Mockingbird Bar + Garden is a fresh and bright take on artisanal cocktails and eats. Featuring a cocktail lounge, espresso bar and wood-fired kitchen in their gorgeous space, Mockingbird serves healthy, simply delicious items and seasonal menus. Try out the Lotus Moon cocktail with flavors like lavender, egg white, gin and lemon. Sip on a Basil Blossom with peach liqueur, basil and bourbon or a Night Owl with cinnamon, espresso, dark rums and Amargo de Chili. With vegetarian options, jars and salads, wood-fired pizzas, desserts and shared plates, there is no shortage of the perfect companion to your tasty cocktail.

Carnivore + the Queen

2241 Maple Ave., Downers Grove


This “contemporary revival of a classic Prohibition-era supper club” is a rustically elegant restaurant and bar featuring seasonal menus and local ingredients when possible. Their specialty crafted cocktails are just as appetizing as their mouthwatering fare menu. Try out the indulgent Grasshopper with ice cream, crème de menthe and white crème de cocoa. Feel mysterious with the Midnight Manhattan, an impressive concoction featuring the incredible vermut, cherry, bitters and rye. The Hong Kong blends maraschino cherry liqueur, vermouth, lemon and scotch. Their menus are comprehensive and feature a wide variety of tastes and favorites.

French 75

56 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora


Elegant and nostalgic, French 75 Gallery & Lounge highlights gorgeous fine art amid a richly appointed salon. With a constantly updated menu and a delightful cocktail list, French 75 is a perfect place to lounge about and appreciate artistry from around the entire country. Taste the Rosé, a sweet blend of rosé, grenadine, brandy and lemon juice. Or try one of their seasonal cocktails like Strawberry Fields, Dill Intentions or Open Sesame. While enjoying their cocktail creations, don’t forget to indulge in their small plates, assorted chocolates and cheese boards.


5157 Main St., Downers Grove


Perhaps a bit of a deviation from the usual cocktail bar, Ballydoyle is nevertheless a hearty contender for cocktails and delectable fare. Their specialty cocktail menu features delightful titles like the Pink Drink, a blend of rum, strawberry puree, pineapple juice, frozen strawberries and coconut cream, or the Hugo, a combination of soda water, elderflower liqueur, fresh mint and prosecco. Try out something refreshing and unique with their Guava Ranch Water cocktail, including tequila, lime, guava juice and soda water.