C is for Cocktail: This Summer’s WTTW Chicago History Cocktails Are For The Ladies


Last year, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight featured a series of cocktail creations based on Chicago history. This summer, they’ve brought them back—with a twist. Instead of Chicago politics, they’re focusing on Chicago’s historical leading ladies, starting with Bertha Palmer, the most famous Chicago socialite of the Gilded Age.

bertha palmer still

The lady herself. Photo Source: Forest Park Review

Despite being married to millionaire Potter Palmer, Bertha was very much a force of her own in Chicago, and she had a major hand in many of the things that make Chicago famous today. These include…

…acting as the President of the Board of Lady Managers for the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, where she insisted that women have their own building, instead of a corner of an exhibition hall like Daniel Burnham wanted

…collecting vast amounts of French Impressionist paintings which eventually became the core of the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection—and popularized them with the entire world. This Renoir painting was her favorite, and legend had it that she traveled with it wherever she went…

…making the practice of “wintering in Florida” commonplace among those who could afford it…

…and many more! 🙂

You can learn more about Bertha Palmer’s Chicago legacy—and the sweet champagne-based cocktail WTTW whipped up in her honor—at Chicago Tonight’s blog. Check back with them all summer for more Chicago history with your cocktail!

BerthaPalmer_not a feminist cocktail

Bertha’s cocktail, the “Not a Feminist.” Photo Source: WTTW Chicago Tonight blog

And if you want even more cocktail recipes, you can check out last year’s list for a brief history lesson in Chicago politics! 😀


About lupachi1927

My name's Megan, and I'm a writer with an interest in history. While I might not be a real historian, I'm a very thorough researcher. This blog is my place to post about all the interesting historical tidbits I find that can't use in the novel I'm working on, which takes place in Chicago in 1927. If you're looking for research help, writing feedback, or just want to say hi, feel free to drop me a line! :)
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