The Aviary, Chicago
The age of the craft cocktail has been upon us for some time, ever since the term "mixology" became a thing. There are a lot of bars that are doing it well, but what makes the Aviary stand out is that it’s simply doing it better. Mixologist Charles Joly was just named the 2014 international bartender of the year, taking the title with his cocktail "Above the Clouds," made with Guatemalan rum, gingerbread rooibos syrup, verjus rouge (unripe grape juice), Benedectine, and an "aromatic vapor" as garnish.
If that sounds a little pretentious, it’s because it is. But it’s also delicious. Joly’s cocktails are complicated, but their genius isn’t just in their complexity, it’s in their thoughtfulness. Another notable cocktail: Joly’s Root Beer, a cocktail featuring sassafras caramel, angostura, fennel and rum, will make you more nostalgic for the root beer of your childhood more than actual root beer.
What to order: We've yet to run into anything short of a spectacular cocktail on the menu.