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Fab 5: Summer Libations

Here, five drinks to savor right now at the height of summer.

Fab 5: Summer Libations in Chicago

Lost Lake's featured beverage, Stranger in Paradise

1. Hellcat, GreenRiver
Swanky GreenRiver is heavily inspired by Chicago’s rich immigrant history, so it’s no surprise that their cocktail selection is just as robust. While the ingredients and flavor profiles are straightforward, the flavor combinations are anything but; the Hellcat, a combination of Swedish wheat vodka, lemon, grapefruit and aromatic bitters, is delectable, particularly when combined with seasonal small plates and a breezy 18th floor terrace. $16. 259 E. Erie St., 312.337.0101

2. Hurricane, Smack Shack
Newly opened Smack Shack is already known for its oysters, but this industrial-chic space also hosts a fair share of mouth-watering cocktails spanning the sweet to the sour. We found both in the Hurricane, a quintessential summer cocktail made with light and dark rum, peach schnapps, and notes of citrus and passion fruit. It’s happy hour somewhere, right? $14. 326 N. Morgan St., 312.973.1336

3. Red Door Saison, Shanghai Terrace at The Peninsula Chicago
With its 1930s supper club decor, top notch Cantonese cuisine and 180-degree views of the skyline, the Peninsula’s Shanghai Terrace is slated to be the place to take in the remaining days of summer. Even better: The Terrace has teamed up with Half Acre Beer Company to create Red Door Saison, an exclusive light-bodied brew with notes of passionfruit and lime zest that perfectly complements a sweltering summer night. A win-win for all! $9. 108 E. Superior St., 312.573.6695

4. Stranger in Paradise, Lost Lake
It’s easy for tiki to feel cheesy, but Lost Lake is the real deal; with a fare of exotic drinks that go beyond the expected (and a vibrant atmosphere to match), Paul McGee’s latest project is a surefire win. Though the drink menu can be overwhelming at times, we managed to pick a favorite: Stranger in Paradise, a tequila- and absinthe-based cocktail complete with notes of cinnamon, pineapple, allspice and lime... aka, summer in a glass. $12. 3154 W. Diversey Ave., 773.293.6048

5. The Violet Spring, Dove’s Luncheonette
Refresh your senses to the sounds of old school Chicago jazz with the exclusive summer cocktail menu at Dove’s Luncheonette, a retro style diner serving up Southern Mexican cuisine in the heart of Wicker Park. The Violet Spring, an invigorating citrus sipper that combines Xicaru, Creme de Violette, grapefruit, lemon and grapefruit bitters, is particularly good—though the space’s watering hole-style ambience and extensive list of mezcal and tequila might make it hard to pick just one. $10. 1545 N. Damen Ave., 773.645.4060