Lunch Meets | What are your summer drinks?
[Ed. note: Welcome back to Lunch Meets, our weekly online column where TOC's Food & Drink intern, John Irvine, infiltrates the anonymous lunch masses in the Loop and asks the tough food questions. This week, to coincide with our cover story on summer drinking, John asks the men and women of the street this question: what makes the perfect margarita? The answer seems to be gin. And tonic.]
Karen Bullen, 23, in the Art Institute Gardens
What is your favorite summer drink when you go out with friends?
I don’t go there with friends, but Argo tea, I like their bubble tea. It’s Earl Grey bubble tea with coconut flavoring.
What makes that summery for you?
I think bubble tea is just fun in the summer.
What about if you were to go to a bar, what would you get?
I’m not very creative so I usually just do a straight gin and tonic.
What about margaritas?
It depends on where I am.
Blended or on the rocks?
Sangria or beer?
Well they don’t offer sangria everywhere, so if they have sangria I get it, but I’m fine with beer. I’ll drink beer.
Paulina Szpiech, 26, in the Art Institute Gardens
When you go out to dinner or drinks with your friends, what kind of drink do you order?
Always a gin and tonic.
Always? Why is that?
It’s super refreshing.
Do you alternate in the summer or is that your year-round favorite?
I get it year round but in the summer I add white wine. Then I alternate with white wine.
So where is your favorite place to go out to drinks with friends during the summer?
Hmm [laughs]. I actually like to bring drinks out to the park. Or we go to somebody’s rooftop or patio. I think that’s the best.
Very summery. Do you ever go for blended drinks?
I have a friend that makes blended drinks but usually I don’t order them.
Do you ever get margaritas? How do you order your margarita?
Sometimes, yes. I order them not blended, over ice, with salt.
Jorge Velasquez, 29, in the Art Institute Gardens
What is your go to summer drink?
I love gin and tonics. I think they’re great for summer.
Everyone is saying that.
Gin and tonics and a drink called a Kentucky Colonel. It’s whiskey, apricot brandy, and cranberry juice. I think that’s it. It’s shaken and you drink it on the rocks.
So do you ever go blended?
What about margaritas?
So how do you get your margarita?
With salt and actually that I like blended.
Is there a restaurant that has good ones?
I like the mango margaritas at Lalos. That’s in University Village.
Is there a place with a good patio?
I live in Oak Park and I like going to Poor Phil’s or Lake Street Bar & Grill just because it’s close to home and I can just walk there.
And do you like sangria?
I do. I like it chilled with berries. I like to go to the concerts in Millennium Park. And so we invite some friends, get a bottle of sangria and chill out.
Kayleen McCloskey, 19, in Chase Plaza
So what is your favorite summer drink?
I guess raspberry lemonade. California Pizza Kitchen has a really good raspberry lemonade.
Oh, well that’s a little surprising.
Yeah, I know. You wouldn’t think that.
What is your favorite smoothie place?
Probably Jamba I guess. [Ed. note: Shortening Jamba Juice to "Jamba" is brill.]
What kind of Jamba do you get? What combination?
I get the Razzmatazz. Sometimes with a protein boost, but not usually.
I don’t know. I don’t really go there to get a nice, healthy boost. I just go there to have a tasty drink.
Matt Boldt, 28, in Chase Plaza
When you go to a restaurant in the summer, what do you order?
In the summer, probably a vodka gimlet.
So have you found a good place that has it here?
No, to be honest. I’ve only been here for about two months. [Ed. note: Dude needs to get to Matchbox.]
What about blended drinks?
You mean like, a blender-blended? Margarita?
I get a margarita occasionally.
And how do you order that—blended or on-the-rocks?
Both, but always with salt.
Are you a sangria person?
I’d drink it, but I probably wouldn’t order it.
So you said you’re new but have you found any good patios?
I live in Bucktown, so Jack and Ginger’s there. Floyd's has a good, little patio.