GreenRiver Is Schooling Chicagoans In Boozy History

Toast Chicago's Irish past at GreenRiver

Master bartenders Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry have been busy playing historians. The Dead Rabbit owners dug deep into Chicago's past to prep for the opening of their Irish-American-inspired bar, GreenRiver, which debuts tonight. At the Streeterville spot (which is also operated by Danny Meyer's Union Square Events), the drinks on the 52-page menu are dedicated to the famous—and sometimes infamous—characters who helped make the city what it is.

Julia Momose, an alum of The Aviary, pours cocktails like the one inspired by Harold Fowler McCormick. The drink, which blends Irish whiskey, Fernet-Branca, pomegranate, lemon, sumac and Burlesque Bitters, comes with a mini history of McCormick: "A member of one of Chicago's most prominent Irish American dynasties . . . His second wife was Ganna Walska, an aspiring but terrible opera singer, whom he promoted at great expense." Other drinks celebrate people like saloon owner "Old Jim" Gore, whose namesake drink (made from rye whiskey, port, cranberry, cinnamon and rum) comes with the description "Clever. But Naughty," and Prohibition-era mobster George Clarence "Bugs" Moran, whose tequila-based drink goes by the name Gangster's Paradise.

Drinking some serious cocktails sounds like a pretty darn good way to get to know a city's history. So bottom's up.