Elevate Your Cocktail Game At Machine
Cocktail culture is something that not only intrigues me but is constantly evolving. Gone are the days of sipping on rum and cokes and pounding Jager-bombs, unless you still reside on a college campus or in your parent’s basement. In a world where craft cocktails are king, barflies are sipping on timeless classics like Martinis, Manhattans, and Margaritas.
Mixologists are elevating their cocktail game with unique and unusual presentations during this cocktail renaissance. While I was in Chicago this past weekend, I had a chance to drop by Machine. This upscale eatery located in Wicker Park, not only serves extraordinary cocktails but also doubles as a flower shop. Quite a unique concept.
I made reservations at Machine with the intent of having lunch, however, I ended up tasting my way through a majority of the cocktail menu and I wasn’t mad about it one bit. Before I even peeked at the food menu, I knew that I had to try the Caged Old Fashioned. I love nothing more than an interactive dining experience and when I saw that this came complete with an Angostura Caramel Cage and a hammer, I was sold.
Even though the sugar cage looks delicate, this finespun sugar is more durable than you would think. Needless to say, It took quite a few taps before I was able to break through.
Given that I started drinking bourbon before noon, I asked our server to surprise me with something a little more light and fruit forward. If it were up to me to make the decision, I would probably still be sitting there because I found so many of the cocktails to be intriguing.
The Firebird was the perfect contrast to the Caged Old Fashioned. It was very fruity and light, but certainly on the sweet side. Served with a straw, this concoction was consumed almost immediately. Perhaps, I should lobby for bigger bird glasses….hmmm?
I’m fortunate that my partner in dine was just as enthusiastic as I was about the cocktails which allowed us to sample more than we would typically have the opportunity to. Next up was a caged cocktail duo, Caged & Infused and Breaking Brûlée. The Caged and Infused is a gin forward cocktail with strong notes of citrus while the Breaking Brûlée was much more intense as it incorporates an egg among its many ingredients. I’d recommend having the Breaking Brûlée towards the end of your meal as you prepare for dessert.
Noticed, I said as you prepare for dessert. Machine has several cocktails that I consider to be liquid desserts. Case in point Snack ‘N Sip and Alco’Hall and Oats . If I am being completely honest, I didn’t think it could get much better than the cocktails we had previously enjoyed, however when it came time for dessert, I was left speechless. Even though I loved the interactive elements of the caged cocktails and the uniqueness of the Firebird, the Alco’Hall and Oats takes the prize. In addition to the charming glassware, (I mean how often do you find a glass milk carton), the cocktail made me nostalgic for one of my favorite childhood breakfasts. I don’t know about you, but I loved Cocoa Puffs or any chocolatey cereal when I was a child. Of course, my mother knew better and it rarely made an appearance in the house. One of my favorite things to do was to have a bowl of cereal and then drink the chocolate milk afterward. It was perfection in my eight-year old eyes. Machine has refined this creation with oat milk and taken it to “next level” status by adding bourbon. I literally died. If it weren’t for the fact that we had an appointment across town, I would have stayed perched in the window overlooking the patio sipping cocktails all afternoon.
I can’t leave the Snack ‘N Sip out. It was equally as delightful almost reminiscent of a hazelnut mousse with a splash of cold brew and tequila. The perfect afternoon pick me up!
You might be thinking, “did this chick even try anything off the menu or just have a boozy lunch? “
My lunch wasn’t filled with all boozy beverages, even though I put forth serious effort. I did manage to sneak the Grilled Top Sirloin Steak Sandwich in my lunch repertoire and it was equally as delicious.
Whether you are a Windy City resident or you find yourself traveling to Chicago, Machine is a MUST. Cocktails of this caliber typically come with a premium price, but given the level of craftsmanship and creativity, I was incredibly surprised how affordable they were. Even though I didn’t touch on it, (hello, I was enamored by the cocktails), Machine has an amazing florist IN the restaurant! You read correctly, in the restaurant. Guests can dress up their table with a fresh bouquet or even have a flower crown made to order. It can’t get much better than that!
Swing by and check out this Wicker Park wonder!
Tariff: Cocktails start at $12.00 with larger format cocktails range between $24.00- $45.00. Entrees begin at $9.00 and go all the to $17.00.
Can’t-Miss: We really enjoyed our food and our cocktails. I’d say if there’s one, really two that you don’t want to miss, it would be the Alco’Hall and Oats and the Caged Old Fashioned. Both were standouts during this cocktail and let’s face it, you aren’t going to have just ONE cocktail.
Potential Pass: Everything that I featured in this post is something that I would order again. The only thing I would do is share the steak sandwich with my partner in dine rather than let half of it go to waste.
Until Next Time!