Credit: Andrea Bauer

Some local bars (cough, Billy Sunday, cough) come up with clever concepts to bring their highfalutin’ cocktail menus back down to a blue-collar Chicago earth that’s full of dives, corner taverns, and sports bars. Yet sometimes there’s no need for such cerebral mischief. Take the Sportsman’s Club: Heisler Hospitality’s Humboldt Park hot spot has a rotating selection of superlative craft cocktails (the mint julep they served on the day of the Kentucky Derby is up there with the Bluegrass State’s finest), and even an amaro machine. But the most popular drink special I’ve seen ordered in the narrow, spiffed-up space is the appropriately titled Low Life: for five measly bucks, you get a High Life and a shot of whiskey. It’s proof that while you can dazzle your clientele with champagne cocktails all day, sometimes your best bet is just to serve the champagne of beers.