Stories by Erica Gunderson

Original Chicago Cocktail: Crooked Cowboy

William Hale “Big Bill” Thompson and the cocktail he inspired.

William Hale “Big Bill” Thompson was arguably the most corrupt politician Chicago has ever seen. He inspires a bourbon-based cocktail topped off with a taste of Chicago.

Original Chicago Cocktail: Old Shoe

It’s never been easy or popular in America to be an egghead. Just ask Adlai Stevenson, who once remarked, “the way of the egghead is hard.” For a drink befitting Stevenson’s balance and brainpower, we create the Old Shoe from equal parts Old Tom gin, vermouth and applejack.

Original Chicago Cocktail: Pushcart Tony

We honor Anton Cermak’s immigrant story with a Chicago-brewed Czech pilsner, Revolution Brewing’s Rev Pils, and spike it with the spirit of a more recent group of Chicago immigrants: tequila.

Ask Geoffrey: What Happened to the SS Aquarama?

The largest passenger ship to operate in the Great Lakes stopped at Navy Pier in the 1950s. Geoffrey Baer dives into the history of the S.S. Aquarama and more.

Viewer Feedback: ‘These Additions Just Don’t Cut It’

Your thoughts about remodeled Chicago bungalows when we read feedback from the "Chicago Tonight" website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Viewer Feedback: ‘How Does CPS Spend Money it Doesn’t Have?’

Hear what viewers had to say about some of our recent stories when we read feedback from the "Chicago Tonight" website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Original Chicago Cocktail: Swing Bridge

We toast Chicago’s first mayor with a drink that gives a nod to William B. Ogden’s influence on city bridges and railroads: the Boilermaker.

Ask Geoffrey: Earl ‘Madman’ Muntz’s Crazy Chicago Story

Did a used-car salesman design and build his sleek and sporty luxury car right here in Chicago? Geoffrey Baer has that story and more.

Classic Chicago Cocktail: New Deal, Old School

This week, we raise a glass to five-time U.S. Congressman and two-time U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, the O.G. hipster of the Senate, with a new twist on an old-school cocktail.

Ask Geoffrey: What Exactly is the Skokie Ditch?

Geoffrey Baer answers viewer questions about Chicago's North suburban neighbors in this week's edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Viewer Feedback: ‘The People’s Lakefront is Not for Sale’

We got strong reaction from viewers about George Lucas’ decision to build the Lucas Museum in California. Hear what viewers had to say when read feedback from the "Chicago Tonight" website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Classic Chicago Cocktail: Blood Sport

Longtime U.S. Congressman Dan Rostenkowski famously called Chicago politics “blood sport.” We raise a glass to one of Chicago's own (who also happened to have one of the all-time great heads of political hair) with a Polish twist on a classic cocktail.

Original Chicago Cocktail: How's Harold?

Whether it was dancing with a polka queen or meeting with protesters, Mayor Harold Washington was always smiling. We celebrate Chicago’s first and so far only African-American mayor with the signature drink, How’s Harold?

Original Chicago Cocktail: Kentucky Colony

Chicago’s early history has a surprising amount of Kentucky in it, including five-time Chicago Mayor Carter Henry Harrison. We honor Harrison’s old Kentucky home by putting a Chicago spin on the classic mint julep.

Ask Geoffrey: Why Are Chicago Street Signs Green and White?

Chicago street signs have it pretty tough. They get battered by the elements, vandalized, stolen – and worst of all, they get no gratitude for helping people navigate our city. Let’s tip our hats to Chicago’s poor unheralded street signs with two questions about these everyday heroes.

Original Chicago Cocktail: The Man on Five

Forty years after Richard J. Daley’s death, Chicago still identifies itself with the man who steered it for more than two decades. Belly up to the bar and get a little taste of Chicago’s spirited history: an Irish whiskey and smoky mezcal blended drink.

Ask Geoffrey: A Look Back at Chicago's Streetcar Era

Geoffrey Baer tracks down answers for three questions about Chicago's bygone streetcar heyday. 

Original Chicago Cocktail: Mayor Bossy

Following a whopper of a blizzard in 1979, Sauganash native Jane Byrne narrowly upset Mayor Michael Bilandic for the Democratic mayoral nomination. Belly up to the bar and get a little taste of Chicago’s spirited history: a frosty milkshake spiked with whiskey and vodka.

Ask Geoffrey: Earl ‘Madman’ Muntz’s Crazy Chicago Story

Did a used-car salesman design and build his sleek and sporty luxury car right here in Chicago? Geoffrey Baer has that story and more.

Strategies for Container Gardening in Chicago

If you’re one of the many Chicagoans living in an apartment or condo with limited outdoor space, growing your own food can seem like a challenge – but, Jeanne Nolan says, anything you can grow in the ground can be grown in a container with just a few adjustments.

Viewer Feedback: ‘Seems Silly to Get Excited about Bathroom Issue’

Hear what viewers had to say about Carol Marin's panel last week about transgender students and public restroom access when we read feedback from the "Chicago Tonight" website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Original Chicago Cocktail: Lord of the Levee

Last week, we introduced you to the Hinky Drink. For our second installment, we’re saying “cheers” with the Lord of the Levee drink, inspired by Aldermen “Bathhouse” John Coughlin and Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna.

Viewer Feedback: Troy LaRaviere's 'Ouster Does Sound Suspicious'

Hear what viewers had to say about our conversation with former CPS principal Troy LaRaviere when we read comments from the "Chicago Tonight" website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Bridget Coughlin Dives in as the Shedd's New CEO

The Shedd Aquarium has a new CEO in Bridget Coughlin. She joins "Chicago Tonight" to talk about her varied experience and what she anticipates for the future of the beloved aquarium.

Ask Geoffrey: How the ‘L’ Do You Spell That?

Geoffrey Baer tackles three questions about Chicago's beloved rapid transit system, including the various spellings of the system, in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.