Chicago boasts its fair share of champagne lounges, beer pubs, and whiskey bars, but when it comes to gin the pickings are mighty slim. But whether you’re a novice gin drinker or a connoisseur, you should know that Scofflaw is the place to sample every variety of the fragrant, juniper-flavored spirit, from the light-bodied to the seriously herbacious and everything in between.
Gather at this Logan Square bar on the early side with a crew of gin-loving pals to get prime seats. Try to arrive by 7pm so you can get to know the knowledgeable bartenders before it gets too crazy (it gets pretty crazy). You might need their help to navigate the dozens of gins on offer. Consider this an opportunity to try something outside of your comfort zone, as the ever-changing menu features gins from around the corner and across the globe, as well as a host of gin-focused cocktails.
Take the Deco Step for example. Though its name alone harkens back to the Prohibition era, its ingredients–Ford’s Gin (a mixable gin from London steeped with nine botanicals), Kina L’Avion d’Or (a complex grape-based liqueur from France), and Fernet Branca (a bitter, aromatic spirit from Italy)–truly evoke the flavors of the Roaring Twenties. If that’s a bit too bitter for you, try the Swizzle #3. It’s a magical mix of Death’s Door Gin, Koloa Hawaiian rum, and tropical juices.
If your favorite drink isn’t on the menu–and we’re hoping you can get more creative than a gin & tonic–rest assured the bartenders will be able to whip it up with skill. If you’ve previously been turned off by gin’s “piney” taste (that’s the juniper berry), tonight’s the night to give it another chance. Many of today’s most popular gins balance the juniper with lighter flavors like citrus, jasmine, cassia, anise, almond, and angelica, making it as easy to drink as an upscale vodka, and twice as interesting.
The food menu complements the cocktails, with solid choices like oysters, sandwiches, and a burger you should order even if you’re not hungry. It’s a thick patty topped with Swiss cheese, onions, and house-made Russian dressing served on rye, and you’ll love it.
Scofflaw enjoys a stellar reputation in Logan Square. The owners frequently collaborate with neighboring bars and restaurants, ensuring that each experience is different. That includes teaming up with the likes of The Radler and the Rocking Horse for craft beer events as well as showcasing signature cocktails from the city’s top bartenders. Drop by with your friends and experience it for yourself. It won’t be long before one of you channels Bogart and says “of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she had to walk into mine …”