Tremaine Atkinson and Mark Lucas bring an entirely new concept to Chicago’s drinking scene with CH Distillery—the city’s first cocktail bar that lets drinkers see spirits being made while they're imbibing them. This means that CH Distillery, which opened just last week, is a full-service grain-to-bottle-to-glass operation.
“Chicago deserves premium local spirits,” Lucas says. “Distilled from Illinois grain, made the right way, no shortcuts.” Lucas and Atkinson have succeeded in their vision, with a distillery that boasts an authentic industrial feel and a 48-seat bar. Using CH’s own vodka, gin, rum, whisky, and infused spirits, consulting mixologist Kyle Davidson created a menu of signature cocktails. The Baron Takes Tea is one such libation, made with Earl Grey-infused gin, lemon, simple syrup, egg whites, and soda.
But vodka is where CH Distillery really excels. “We opened CH out of a love for premium vodka,” Lucas admits, so be sure to try it unadorned. Available in a shot or in a larger carafe serving, the Traditional includes ice-cold vodka served alongside rye bread and pickles. It’s how Lucas himself likes his cocktails: “Vodka on the rocks. No fruit.”
Executive chef JP Doiron and consulting chef Jesse Katzman, both formerly of Avec, developed a menu of Eastern European-inspired small plates to accompany the drinks. Try the shiitake pate or whitefish spread to share, or start with traditional or red caviar. 564 W. Randolph St., 312-707-8780