In Chicago Bars & Restaurants, Notes From the Field

Hummmmmmmmmmm… That’s the gentle sound we’ve been hearing emanating from back bars all over town.

The Watermelon Aquavit Slushie at Parson's Chicken & Fish

The Watermelon Aquavit Slushie at Parson’s Chicken & Fish

It’s slushie season, and those machines have broken out of the corner store and taken over area cocktail menus. We’re seeing so many whimsical craft cocktails being served as slushies, sno-cones, even ice pops!

Some version of shaved ice drinks have been around just about forever, most likely created in Asia many centuries ago. In the 1950’s, the modern blender brought the frozen daiquiri to the masses in the suburbs (chorus of angels here). Many years of super sweet frozen drinks and pre-made bagged frozen drinks followed…

Cut to modern bar programs currently embracing all things nostalgic. But, these aren’t the cloying, cheesy cocktails of old. These cocktails are full of fresh, seasonal ingredients, and demonstrate that just about anything tastes better sitting at a patio table on a hot day when it’s in semi-frozen form. Plus, in a busy bar season, a well balanced, fresh cocktail in your glass with just the turn of a handle sure keeps both sides of the bar happy.

We have been especially loving the Watermelon Aquavit Slushie at Parson’s Chicken & Fish (made with our Aquavit – Private Reserve, of course), and they also have a fabulous patio to hang out on. Be warned, though… this seasonal drink only appears for the summer, so get it before it hibernates!

Other places for great slushie cocktails in the area: Milwalky Trace in Libertyville, Drumbar in Chicago, and of course Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago.

And there you have it. Go forth, and seek out your favorite frozen treat, or dig out your blender and start creating with your favorite North Shore spirit while summer is here!

I’m going to grab one, and then run through the sprinkler one last time.