Move over traditional Tequilas, Mezcal has got it from here.
The “it” drink of 2022, Mezcal is predicted to take its rise in popularity to new heights, according to reporting by Bloomberg which indicates by 2023 it will be the most purchased spirit in the entire country! No surprise the Agave-based deliciousness is popping up on menus near and far, and to make things easy we’ve put together a list of the top spots to try it out for yourself and discover what all of the hype is about.
Tuzco: Located in bustling River North, Tzuco offers diners the best in Mexican cuisine paired with French haute cuisine techniques to create a one-of-a-kind experience. Created by Michelin Star Chef Carlos Gaytán, Tzuco’s inventive menu pairs perfectly with their Signature Mezcal cocktails, playing on the vast range the spirit has. 720 N. State St.
TRY IT: The Neblina is built on Mezcal Union and Mexican rum and includes hints of orgeat, lime, mint, and egg whites to create a perfect juxtaposition between hints of citrus and smoke. Also recommended: The Mexico City Sour, inspired by the fiery and rich culture that Mexico City encompasses. The cocktail’s smoky Mezcal Union complements the agave nectar and also features lemon, pinot noir, and Fuego to create redefined taste experience. The Amarillo offers a French twist to a classic mezcal cocktail and plays on its wide range. Mixing the smokiness of Union Mezcal and the wintry taste of genepy, this cocktail also includes gin, the light, herbal French aperitif Lillet, and hints of limoncello.
Carnivale: This flair-filled West Loop spot is no stranger to celebration. Incorporating cuisines from all across South America to develop flavors that are as vibrant and eclectic as they are fun, Carnivale offers a unique Latin-inspired experience that packs a new punch with each visit. 702 W. Fulton Market.
TRY IT: The color-infused culinary wonderland kicks things up a notch with the Mezcal Verde Amaras, combining the smoky spirit with Passionfruit, Vanilla, Fresh Lime, Sparkling Wine and Hibiscus to create a vibrant combination of flavors upon first sip.
Lirica: Navy Pier’s dazzling waterfront eatery offers a picture-perfect view of Lake Michigan and delicious Latin and Iberian-inspired cuisine to make for an unforgettable experience. 900 E. Grand Ave.
TRY IT: The Oaxacan Old Fashioned, derived in honor of Oaxaca, Mexico – “the home of Mezcal” – features Organic Del Maguey Vide, Olmeca Ańejo, Afave and Bitters.
KOMO: Chicago’s newest Restaurant Row hotspot offers a boundless Japanese dining experience led by Executive Chef Macku Chan. KOMO’s intricate menus are a love letter to the senses, offering each a moment for appreciation of the precision and thoughtfulness that is incorporated into each dish. Also appreciated at KOMO: handcrafted cocktails. Enjoy each of their courses on their Chef-driven tasting menu with one of their delicious flavor-infused cocktails in hand. 738 W. Randolph St.
TRY IT: Hanami features 400 Conejos Mezcal, paired with Elderflower Liqueur, Raspberry Syrup and Fresh Lemon Juice.
Offshore Rooftop and Bar: Rooftop season never ends at the World’s Largest Rooftop as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records situated on the iconic Navy Pier. Boasting over 36,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space with unmatched views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan, this year-round rooftop destination offers a full-service bar and world-class kitchen, along with cozy fire pits, a gaming area, and the best views to watch the summer sunsets. 1000 E. Grand Ave.
TRY IT: Fireside Chat, featuring 400 Conjelos Mezcal, pepper, Allspice-infused Tamarind, pineapple and fresh lime.
Oaken Bistro + Bar: The North Shore’s trendy, Chef-driven concept located in picturesque Lake Forest offers a wide range of food and beverage that honor a love of science and nature with incredible farm-to-table offerings, local and seasonal flavors in a stunning atmosphere complete with an intimate private dining room and outdoor patio space. 200 N. Field Dr.
TRY IT: Enjoy the Dulce Vida Organic Margarita, featuring 100& pure agave tequila, agave nectar, fresh lemon and a twist of lime for a thoughtfully crafted cocktail inspired by the beauty of all around us.