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The Story Behind Chicago’s Afterbar Cocktail Menu

Chicago’s newest and most captivating cocktail bar, Afterbar, is nestled adjacent to Canal Street Market & Eatery and The Green at 320, West Loop’s largest park and garden.

The radiant new bar offers a space that is cozy in the winter and bright and airy in the warmer months, with the ability to sit indoors and outdoors. Afterbar provides an atmosphere suitable for professionals and locals alike, with the same goal of unwinding and relaxing with conversation and lively cocktails.

Much of the design of Afterbar influenced their introductory bar program in 2022, but more recently, they have introduced a new menu with cocktails that are a “labor of love” according to Laine Peterson, Director of Operations at Afterbar. “These drinks aren’t just about quenching your thirst or looking good on your social feed – they’re crafted to be the kind you’d want more than just one of! It’s with immense joy that we rolled out our second menu just in time for our upcoming one-year anniversary celebration.” Their cocktails range from eclectic to common and craveable classics, but no matter the libation, they are skillfully and thoughtfully balanced, and aptly named, to provide a paramount guest experience.

The unique names given to the cocktails at Afterbar tell a story, such as “Disappearing Island,” which was destined to be the namesake of their coconut blue cocktail, their “Payday Millionaire: No Trophies for Trying” which is described as a “mic drop for those drink expectations,” and “Better Together,” which gets its name from “the rum that forms the cocktail’s foundation. Kasama Rum.” “Kasama” roughly translates to “togetherness” in Tagalog, a nod to the shared experience of enjoying a drink in good company.

The food menu at Afterbar complements the drink program and is an Italian-inspired menu with antipasti, handmade pastas, pizzas, and entrees. Fresh pastas are served with a range of traditional sauce preparations such as English Pea Ravioli with pea & goat cheese, carrot puree, chevril, almonds, and Ricotta Salata, Mafaldine Cacio e Pepe, Calamarata with grilled shrimp, and many more. Neapolitan-style pizzas are baked-to-order and include Spicy Soppressata with Fresno honey, Truffle with spinach, mushrooms, and truffle onion jam, Bismark with Prosciutto, egg, and arugula, and Margherita.

Afterbar believes in “curiosity and collaboration” when leveling up your cocktail game. “When it comes to brainstorming and stirring up excitement, your colleagues and communities are invaluable. There’s something magical about sharing ideas and watching them evolve through different perspectives. Trust me, you’ll never cross paths with someone who doesn’t have a clever trick up their sleeve that you hadn’t seen or considered before.” Peterson comments that sustainability and local sourcing are the next big trends. “There’s a growing focus on doing things responsibly, and bartenders can lead the charge in reducing waste while elevating the quality of our ingredients.”

The post The Story Behind Chicago’s Afterbar Cocktail Menu appeared first on Chilled Magazine.

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