Photo: Ivy Reynolds of The Gold Collective
Nothing sets the tone for a party like a signature sip, and Chicago is stocked with talented mixologists who mash, muddle and shake ingredients to perfection. So whether you sidle up to their bar for inspiration or nab one to design a one-of-a-kind cocktail for your big day, these masterminds will not disappoint.
If you didn't get a chance to try one of Joly's world-class drinks at The Aviary before his departure, you can now pick up a premade, bottled cocktail from his line, Crafthouse Cocktails. In 2014, the behind-the-bar genius competed against 11,000 of the world's top mixologists and won the highly coveted Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year award (and was the first American to win the title).
If designing a signature cocktail doesn't quite cut it in your book, and you want to make sure every guest receives a perfectly constructed beverage that pairs with the hors d'oeuvres, then mixologist Revae Schneider is the answer to your wedding-planning prayers. Her cocktail catering company, Femme du Coupe, will work with you to design customized drinks for your wedding and ensure what's served behind the bar is truly memorable.
Jacyara de Oliveira
Named as one of Food & Wine's best new mixologists, the head bartender at Humboldt Park tavern, The Sportsman's Club, is definitely one to watch. At only 25, she won this summer's Speed Rack Chicago, a cocktail competition based on speed and skill, and made it to the semifinals in the national round in New York.
McGee shot to stardom behind the bar at Lettuce Entertain You restaurants like Three Dots and a Dash, RPM Italian, and Bub City. Most recently, he was named the beverage director for Land & Sea Dept(the group behind Lost Lake, Parsons Chicken & Fish, Longman & Eagle), as well as spaces inside the newly opened Chicago Athletic Association boutique hotel. Not only is he leading the creative cocktail culture in Chicago, but every beverage program he touches seems to turn to gold.
Best known for his perfected cocktails — and refined service without an ounce of pretension — at River North lounge, The Berkshire Room, Schiller is opening The Sixth in Lincoln Square this summer. Craft cocktails in a laid-back, neighborhood bar atmosphere might be exactly what the doctor ordered for a little wedding cocktail inspiration. As he puts it, you can't take yourself too seriously if you're serving a drink called the Silly Rabbit, a deconstructed cocktail based off the flavors of Trix cereal.
As a founding member of The Dogma Group, this mixologist cut his chops behind the bar at DrumBar and Sable Kitchen and Bar. His beverage and hospitality consulting firm specializes in unique events and is currently collaborating with restaurants like Presidio, The Dawson, CH Distillery and more.