The weekend always brings many reasons to raise a glass – full of spirit or without spirit! – be it at the end of the work week, entertainment plans or perhaps some major athletics or popular culture event.
This weekend, we are celebrating some scorching temperatures of 45 degrees and perhaps pouring a glass of something for the Golden Globe – a balm for our inevitable disappointment about the winner.
Join us, will you?
Palmer’s Pint and Mal 1/4 u00f6rt spritz by Maria’s Packaged Goods
Maria’s has been my neighborhood bar for years and I look forward to the day when I can come in and have a few drinks without caring about a deadly virus. When the urge becomes too big to be ignored, I pick up some of your packaged cocktails for travel; this time, I did it while taking my order for Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream, next door. Palmer’s Pint ($ 8) is a gingival blend of homemade infused peach tea vodka, lemonade and simple black tea syrup – and 12 ounces. bottle is large enough for two servings. Be sure to check out Marz Brewing’s selection of spirits (my favorite is the relaxing and satisfying CBD Flower Power Elixir). I also couldn’t resist a recently refilled Mal 1/4 u00f6rt ($ 8), which I find immensely delicious (unlike the real Mal 1/4 u00f6rt, which is immensely horrible). Grapefruit punch and subtle hibiscus notes are so delicious to quench your thirst that it takes a lot of willpower not to swallow it all in one exciting sip. 930 W. 31st St., 773-890-0588, community-bar.com
– Ariel Cheung
The Licking’s famous mysterious drink
You may wonder what’s in the Famous Mystery Drink ($ 2.99 regular, $ 4.99 large) at The Licking – the West Side restaurant best known for partner DJ Khaled, if not for the lobster on its soul food menu Miami style. Or just get lost in the double rainbow that meets the psychedelic sunset of colorful fruit punch floating with flavored lemonades. Owner Lenny Coffey Weston, who grew up nearby, decided not to add a liquor license at this location in the South Austin neighborhood. So stop for a non-alcoholic drink that will take you back to a carefree childhood and perhaps add an adult dose of alcohol at home. 5045 W. Madison St., 773-413-7666, thelicking.com
– Louisa Chu
Hopewell Brewing Clover Club Sour Beer
During the pandemic, I have tried to spread this love to as many local breweries as possible. Fortunately for me, Logan Square has almost too many options. The last few weeks were about Hopewell Brewing Co., which opened in the neighborhood in 2016. I won a Clover Club ($ 12, four 12-ounce cans), a sour raspberry that fortunately doesn’t overdo the style, while remaining deeply refreshing. And to balance that, I’m also enjoying Stay Frosty ($ 10, four 16-ounce cans), a dark winter beer that tastes great – even when all the snow slowly melts. 2760 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-698-6178, hopewellbrewing.com
– Nick Kindelsperger
3 Floyds Brewing Gumballhead Wheat Beer
I recently went to live with my parents for a while – it is a way to save money during the pandemic and spend more time with them, now that they are both retired. That means moving to northwest Indiana, where I grew up and they still reside. This makes my favorite weekend drink something like a “When in Rome …” situation: a can of Gumballhead from the legendary 3 Floyds brewery ($ 12.99, six 12-ounce cans). I have to admit, it doesn’t hit my taste buds at 31 the same way it did at 21. Gumballhead is more earthy and moist than I remembered, softer and more balanced. Revisiting an old favorite after a long break is always interesting, and this Sixer was a revealing look at one of the first craft beers I ever liked. 9750 Indiana Parkway, Munster, Ind.; 219-922-3565; 3floyds.com
– Adam Lukach
On Tour Brewing West Coast Style IPA Reprise
Hazy IPA has ruled the craft beer perch in recent years (much to the chagrin of some of us). Fortunately, although the haze craze remains plentiful – think: intensely fruity and with an ultra-low bitterness – the flavors are returning in other directions. Among them is a West Coast-style IPA revival. On Tour’s Reprise ($ 12.99, four 16-ounce cans) is a splendid example, referring to a classic incarnation of the style. The citrus notes are bright and refreshing, but Reprise lands with a dry bitterness that keeps the palate ready for the next sip. Bonus: On Tour is taking advantage of the COVID-19 restrictions on alcohol sales and will deliver Reprise (or any of its beers) to your door. 1725 W. Hubbard St., 312-796-3119, ontourbrewing.com
– Josh Noel