In case you're all holiday'd out, there's still one more to go before we click the "reset" button on the year. Fortunately, New Year's is all about Champagne, so that makes it go down a bit easier. There's certainly a bevy of bubbly New Year's parties to attend, or you could play it simple and visit one of these spots for Champagne cocktails or straight-up stellar Champagne service. Happy New Year!
It's not every day Champagne mingles with whiskey, but when it does magic happens. One of the most unique Champagne cocktails in Chicago can be sipped at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, where the Showtime at the Esquire combines Templeton rye whiskey, Croft Pink port, Grand Marnier, angostura bitters, and a Champagne topper. It starts out heavy and brusque, but finishes on an elegant note, so it's the best of both boozy worlds.
One of the latest entrants to River North's thumping nightlife scene is Parliament, a regal club dripping in glamor, pomp, and circumstance. The bar is renowned for bottle service, which you can certainly do, or you can spring for their #10 cocktail, a Champagne quaff brimming with Grey Goose, Xante liqueur, and cane sugar. Simple, classy, and clubby.
Rebar (401 N. Wabash Ave.)
One of the most lavish bars in the city, nestled inside the Trump International Hotel & Tower, Rebar also offers some of the most lavish Champagne cocktails. The bar keeps it simple and classy with creations such as The Pink Affair, made with fresh berries, Laurent Perrier Rosé Champagne, and St. Germain Elderflower liqueur; and the Reveev, a sparkling martini featuring VeeV Acai with fresh blackberries and Champagne.
Ada Street flies in the face of tradition with its Not Champagne Cocktail. It's just as bubbly and just as crisp, yet made with Cava in lieu of Champagne, hence the rebellious moniker. The drink is supplemented with aperol, angostura bitters, raw sugar, and lemon. There's another Cava creation called Oye Como Va, featuring tequila, lime, agave, and Boston Bittahs.
If one or two Champagne cocktails doesn't cut it, then you'd be wise to mosey over to RM Champagne Salon, the closest thing to a Parisian parlor this side of the Seine. This masterfully appointed den of luxury and bubbly pays dutiful homage to Champagne. In addition to bottles, RM offers a nice array of bubbly by the glass, making it an accessible spot for a night out or a celebration.
Another sparkling stalwart is Pops for Champagne, River North's quintessential bar for fluted libations. One of the most impressive and thorough selections of Champagne around, Pops offers a menu of half bottles, large formats, non-vintage Champagne, grower-producer Champagne, and vintage Champagne. The sheer selection is mind-boggling, guaranteeing something for everyone.
Photos: Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, Parliament, Chelsea Ross (Ada Street), RM Champagne Salon