Best Jazz Cocktails in the CHI

Venture out to one of you super swanky bars. Check out the hot mixologist in hopes that he can make it, shake it and all that jazz. I prefer my bartender in this genre with a well-groomed handle bar mustache or even the Fu Man Chu soul patch (as long as it appears clean), but please no extreme handle bar with the possibility of something dripping… I’ll take a pass on that garnish.20130820-263821-Percys-kyle-lighting-drink
What to order. It’s a vast selection these days. The cool bar owners have modernized the cocktail list to fit the times. Whatever that means…
Take me back to the roaring 20’s, 30’s or 40’s! I’m so there. WAIT. Prohibition. Didn’t they try to ban alcohol? That didn’t work out so well. Did it?! Ironically, it produced some of the most tantalizing cocktails to this day. Funny how that works…



Here’s a few to choose from next time you want to throw a few down…  

The Manhattan (1860) is a staple. It’s here to stay and can’t fail ya. I prefer Templeton Rye Whiskey on the sweet side. I love the dark fancy Luxardo cherries. Bar owners need to ante up and get the fancy cherries. Girls like fancy cherries. Last I heard bars need girls.luxardo
Martini (1920’s) Gin & Dry Vermouth. Pretty simple. To the point. Now the Martini has been modified to vodka & whatever you can imagine, as long as you put it in the classic tall stemmed martini glass, you’re fit to tie one on. I prefer a dirty, with blue cheese olives. I will confess the French Martini also works for me. Purple is my favorite color, why not drink it?
Sidecar (1922) Orange Liquor, Cognac and lemon juice. Sidecar get it?
Bee’s Knee’s (1930’s) Often jazz slang for a term of endearment still used today. This is a slight knock off of the Side Car. Gin, Lemon juice, honey syrup. Rumor has it they added the honey to mask the smell of gin. Prohibition you know.
Southside (1920’s) The origin is debated if this came from New York or Chicago. But we know it was Chicago. Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup & mint leaves. Shake it, pour and bottoms up. This is delicious in the summer.
French 75
(1920’s) Bubbles! Champagne, gin, lemon juice & sugar. This little ditty made its debut in Casablanca!

This will get you started… You will find virtually 100’s of very unique, thirst quenching, palate invigorating drinks from the prohibition/jazz era. Tom Collins, Whiskey Sour, Mint Julep, Rob Roy, Old Fashioned, Mary Pickford, Gin Rickey, and so on…


Here’s a few joints that might serve some of these up, including jazz (which is the one element missing in many bars).
SIP (I’m performing here Fridy, July 24 & August 8) Extensive prohibition cocktails & the owners have lotsa love for jazzers! Mwah!
Green Mill Iconic joint, rocks glasses are the best, close to perfect (Check out Saber Tooth Band! recently recorded on NPR)

Jazz Show Case One of Chicago’s best bartenders Babo! Order anything he’s the freakin awesome! Top notch jazz performers too!
Andy’s Jazz Club Manhattan delicious, make sure Casey makes it, they need the fancy cherries (Blowing on Thursdays sax player Eric Schneider. He’s on my new EP Perfect Fit.)
Violet Hour Super swank, might stand in line, worth it, bartenders hipster cute, fab!
Gibson’s Top notch drinks, best piano players (Lloyd Wilson, Bob Solone), impeccable service).


There’s a start for ya’ll!
Timeless, hip, swank, delicious.
Hmmm sounds like jazz to me.
Now go drink some hooch!!


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