After a surprisingly mild winter, it’s no wonder everyone is already primed for a spring fling.
Turns out, there’s no better place to start than with libations. Mercat a la Planxa,
whose tasty tipples already had us smitten, hired a new mixologist: Scottsdale transplant
Jake Daniken. He’s rolling out a lineup of house-honed sips, crafted from interesting
ingredients such as charred pineapple-infused rum, housemade horchata and zesty habanero
syrup, the latter lending an edge to the Melo Picante, with Avion Silver tequila, Grand
Marnier, watermelon and fresh sour ($13; 312-765-0524). Up in Andersonville at In Fine Spirits, Aperol-based cocktails are getting some play (773-506-9463). And, if you head
to Nacional 27 in River North, you’ll find Citrusseeey Punch, a Belvedere grapefruit,
tropical fruit, ginger-habenero syrup, orgeat and Moët slurry ($10, as part of Chicago
Restaurant Week; 312-664-2727).