Nandini Khaund, Cindy's
At the top of a tall tower overlooking the city—namely, Cindy's on the 13th floor of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, with its billion-dollar views of the lakefront—Spirit Guide Nandini Khaund mixes potions with rare and curious ingredients, from tea, which she says gives cocktails a sense of terroir, like wine, to activated charcoal for the spooky black color it gives her signature Reanimator cocktail. 12 S. Michigan Ave.
Jon Mcdaniel, Acanto
While Jon McDaniel is a sommelier first, his cocktail list at Italian restaurant Acanto never fails to welcome you from the moment you walk in by tapping into the familiar. But that doesn't mean boring. Exhibit A: his Hard to Forget cocktail, which combines Buffalo Trace bourbon and the Sicilian digestive Averna with the smoke of cherry wood chips to evoke a summer cabin in the woods. 18 S. Michigan Ave.
Matty Eggleston, Spilt Milk
A 1920s pharmacy has been reinvented as a modern corner bar at Logan Square's Spilt Milk tavern, where mixologist Matty Eggleston keeps the cocktail list short and easy to scan for something you’ll undoubtedly like. For summer, we're excited about his take on a mai tai, the Pistachio Mashti, which mixes Bols Genever gin and Cutty Sark over crushed ice with fruit flavors and orgeat, for a colorful throwback to the days of exotic drinks. 2758 W. Fullerton