The Chicago River martini

Maybe Dine, a new West Loop restaurant at 733 W Madison St, should change the name of this concoction, not only because it’s not really appetizing to say, “I’m drinking the Chicago River,” but because the martini’s hue is much prettier than that of the actual Chicago River.

The name, however, does describe the taste of this cocktail pretty well. The drink is a blend of vodka, gin, and Chartreuse, Chartreuse being the potent, herbal-infused liquor that contributes most to the martini’s taste. If you’re not used to this liquor’s flavor, think…well, river water. Paul the bartender tells me that like its namesake body of water, the Chicago River martini often gets sent back. When that happens, Paul says, he sends over a Violetta, a deep purple-colored blend of vodka, blue Caracao, and a splash of cranberry with an orange twist. A Chicago River martini is $11, a Violetta martini just $10. I guess you’re paying for local flavor.

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