/ap ǝ jē/
1. the highest point in development of something; the climax or culmination.
2. the point in the orbit of the moon or satellite at which it is furthest from the earth.
Apogee Lounge is the swanky new rooftop bar at the Dana Hotel. Occupying the gorgeous space that once housed the popular Vertigo Sky Lounge, the 26th floor indoor/outdoor spot has undergone a complete refresh under the new management of The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group (Steadfast, The Berkshire Room, The Sixth). The new bar and lounge is beautiful: lovely chandeliers, marble-topped tables, low comfortable couches and chairs all overlook the Chicago skyline. The outdoor space features its own bar, more seating and a fire pit.
But no matter how stunning the appointments, what will set Apogee Lounge apart from the rest of the rooftop offerings in the city are the incredible craft cocktails. From edible butterfly garnishes and flowers encased in ice to burnt marshmallows and pipe tobacco in their individual cocktails to Pappy Van Winkle bottle service to large format drinks that serve up to six to perfectly respectable beer choices, their drink program is glorious. Here are some of the unique offerings that we had a chance to try:
- Nymph: Tito’s vodka, elderflower rose sparkling, raspberry powder and an edible butterfly. This also features a beautiful flower encased in its ice cube.
- Old Money: Bulleit bourbon, aperol, walnut liqueur, allspice. Served over a giant ice cube, arguably the best of all ice cubes.
- Sancerre: Martin Miller gin, grapefruit, lemongrass & pear ice, aperitif du jour. The gin and aperitif came in a carafe on the side to be poured over the grapefruit, lemongrass & pear ice, so the taste of the drink changes as the ice melts. My new favorite drink.
- Weston: wheatened bourbon, dark matter coffee essence, pipe tobacco. Per my co-Local Tourist, this tasted exactly like a Frappuccino.
- Fifth Char: Jim Beam rye, Falernum, Demerara, burnt Manhattan marshmallow, anise & coconut ash. Also, it’s served in a horn, which made me feel like a Viking.
Apogee Lounge (2 West Erie Street) is open Thursday through Sunday.
Featured photo courtesy Apogee Lounge