The holidays offer the perfect opportunity to toast the ones you love. With this in mind, and in anticipation of Country Magazine’s fifth anniversary, we gathered some of the best area cocktails featured in our Dinner Dates over the past five years to help you celebrate the festivities and ring in 2020 with a spirited, decadent, and inspired cocktail in hand. Wishing you and yours all the best life has to offer during this special season and in the coming year.
Van Gogh Pomegranate Vodka
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
This inspired cocktail is the perfect drink for those who love all things pomegranate—with a kick. Both sweet and tart, with notes of tequila and agave, the deep crimson Pomatini is served in Shakou’s signature martini glass for a festive and dramatic presentation.
Shakou Barrington, 121 W. Main Street, Barrington, 224-655-2853, shakourestaurants.com.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Angostura and orange bitters
The inspiration here is likely a Seelbach, a pre-prohibition favorite named after a hotel in Kentucky. It’s served in a champagne flute with prosecco instead of Champagne, yielding a bubbly peach color and smooth finish.
Incontra a Tavola, The Arboretum of South Barrington, 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, 847-836-1700, incontroatavola.com.
Jameson Irish Whiskey
Mint & sugar garnish
Warm up with this coffee cocktail that has a little extra lingering heat on the tongue thanks to a shot of Jameson. The whip cream is piled high with a sprinkle of sugar and a little dab of green mint flavoring.
McGonigal’s Pub, 105 S. Cook Street, Barrington, 847-277-7400, mcgonigalspub.com.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Essentially a rosé slushie, the Frosé combines a frozen peach purée, rotating in a machine behind the bar, with the dry charm of a quality rosé. Absolutely worth experiencing even in the heart of winter. Rose all day … and night.
The Hampton Social, 100 W. Higgins Road in South Barrington, 224-633-5414, thehamptonsocial.com
Coffee and Cigar Old Fashioned
Henry McKenna Bourbon
Coffee chocolate bitters
The sort of drink that makes you long for wood-paneled libraries and old English manor houses. The bitters, which are imported from Australia, add a dash of dark chocolate bitterness to an orange-scented classic.
Region Kitchen + Bar, 718 W. Northwest Highway, Barrington, 224-848-4005, regionrestaurant.com.