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America's Best Cocktail Bars

The Violet Hour, Chicago

Courtesy of The Violet Hour

The Violet Hour, Chicago

The first challenge is to find this unmarked place, a first-generation neo-speakeasy. The number of guests allowed inside is capped at the number of stools and seats, ensuring a reasonably sane session of cocktail sampling. Try some of the updated classics, like the Notorious F.L.I.P., made with navy-strength rum, bitter liqueurs, and a whole egg.

Check It Out: The custom ice program here was one of the nation’s first—you’ll get a big ice sphere for bourbon on the rocks, and an ice spike for tall drinks.

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