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Fab 5: Drinking Up

While Chicago’s not lacking when it comes to great cocktailing establishments, these five newcomers raise the bar—and then some.

The Heavy Feather in Logan Square taps into the ‘70s for its cocktails and decor.

1. Broken Shaker
Like its famous older sibling in Miami, our Broken Shaker offers numerous creative twists on cocktails ranging from a Chicago-inspired Garret’s Old-Fashioned ($13) to customized punch service for eight ($150). Its tucked-away location (head to the back of the Freehand hotel lobby and up the stairs) means you just might get a seat. 19 E. Ohio St., 312.940.3699

2. The Heavy Feather
The ‘70s live on in this second-floor bar above Logan Square’s Slippery Slope. Inside, you’ll find the fern bar of your dreams filled with beautiful gold mirrors, polished walnut accents and opulent leather booths. Cocktails take a similar time-machine approach, including the groovy Mudslide, a potent mix of Irish whiskey, coffee liqueur and ice cream ($12). Bell-bottoms are not required. 2357 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773.799.8504

3. Milk Room
First the good news: At this Chicago Athletic Association hotel bar, you’ll get spirit-forward cocktails from Paul McGee utilizing the rare ingredients the well-connected beverage director has tracked down, including the Glen Grant 15-year Scotch whisky and 1950s Benedictine in the cask-strength Bobby Burns ($50). The bad? With just eight seats, a spot is hard to snag. But unlike many things in life, the effort to score a reservation online, the only way to get in, is totally worth it. 12 S. Michigan Ave., 844.312.2221

4. The Sixth
For a neighborhood bar, The Sixth does take itself seriously—and that is a good thing. From the six ice cube types crafted in-house—check out the multicolored flavor ones in the gin-focused Silly Rabbit ($12)—and hard-to-find spirits (an Old Grand-bourbon, $150, from the 1930s, perhaps?) to the mod yellow couches, this spot from the same owners as the adjoining Roots pizza place punches way above its weight. 2200 W. Lawrence Ave., 872.241.8666

5. Sparrow
With its antique phone both, vintage floral wallpaper, lovely light fixtures and wood inlay bar, this Gold Coast spot is a sophisticated throwback to a gentler time of drinking, which fits its location in the lobby of an art deco apartment building. Beverage Director Peter Vestinos puts the spotlight on rumcentric classic cocktails, including the refreshing Floridita #3 ($12). 12 W. Elm St., 312.725.0732