It's funny, or maybe it's sad, that Chicago seamlessly transitions from the summer drinking months (beer on patios) to the winter drinking season (whiskey in warm corners). No longer is it plausible to hop from bar to bar in search of the perfect stool amid the crowd. So we settle for stronger drinks in darker bars, where we can't see what the person sitting next to us looks like. As long as the cocktails keep flowing and the cold stays outside, we'll take it. And by the time we emerge from the boozy haze, it will be summer again.