On the Saturday night I spent in Chicago, my friend (and hostess extraordinaire) Ellie took me to a cocktail bar called Watershed, which is hidden below a Champagne bar at State and Ohio. The name is a nod to the bar's focus on local beer, liquor and wine. The room is lovely and warm, with generous banquettes and little tables, and the staff were so freaking friendly in that unpretentious Midwestern way.
I ordered a Manhattan made with a local rye: Lion's Pride Dark Rye, which is distilled just a few miles north of the bar, right in Chicago proper. It was rich and a bit sweet, and made a delightfully old-fashioned (pun not intended, but not edited out, either) cocktail.
On my next trip, a distillery tour is most definitely in order. Or maybe a class about distilling? So many options! Chicagoans, go forth and make some whiskey!