By Natalie Kuchik
Chicago offers plenty of options for those who like to drink rum straight up, in a frozen mixed drink or as the base of a specialty cocktail. Each bar knows how to shake, mix and concoct the perfect rum-based drink. If rum is your poison, than you will want to check out one of these Chicago bars.
Uncle Fatty’s Rum Resort
2833 N Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
Hours: Wed to Fri – 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sat – 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Uncle Fatty’s Rum Resort brings the Caribbean to Chicago. This is one of the best bars for those looking for rum-based fishbowl drinks. The menu has seven signature drinks that come in 32-ounces, one-gallon, three-gallon or four-gallon fishbowls. If you are feeling brave, then create your own fishbowl drink with the help of a bartender. Uncle Fatty’s also serves standard-sized frozen rum drinks, including the Cannonball made with Bacardi Pina Colada and strawberry puree.
The Violet Hour
1520 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Hours: Sun to Fri – 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sat – 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Not only is The Violet Hour one of Chicago’s best bars with great rum selections, but it also has some of the best specialty drink names. Signature rum cocktails include the Hush & Wonder and Tattooed Seaman. The Hush & Wonder features Matusalem, lime, Rothman and Winter Violette Liqueur while the Tattooed Seaman is made with Sailor Jerry, Demerara Syrup and root beer bitters. A must-try is the Star 80, which includes Santa Teresa 1796, grapefruit juice, Creme De Cacao, grenadine and chocolate bitters. This upscale Chicago bar has a total of six unique rum cocktails, and no two are created with the same rum.
Ja’ Grill Restaurant & Lounge
1008 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60686
Restaurant Hours: Mon to Wed – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs – 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Lounge Hours: Thurs to Sat – 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Ja’ Grill is the best destination for those with a thirst for Jamaican rum. Rums served include Myer’s Dark Rum, Appleton White Rum, Appleton Estate and Appleton Special. Located in Lincoln Park, this bar is home to its signature drink, Ja’ Rum Punch. It is created with Appleton White Rum, Myer’s Dark Rum, Malibu Coconut Rum and tropical juices. All the specialty drinks are created with natural fruit juices, making every sip both refreshing and delicious.
Castaways Bar & Grill
1603 N Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60614
Hours: Beginning Memorial Day, Daily – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Right on North Avenue beach, Castaways is the best summer bar in Chicago for drinking rum. Soak up the rays while sipping on a Malibu Yellow Bird, created with Malibu Coconut Rum, orange juice and Creme De Banana. If you’re looking to cool down with a frozen rum drink on a hot Chicago day, Castaways has you covered. The bar has a frozen sensation drink menu, which includes three rum-based cocktails: Cruzan Pina Colada, Cruzan Strawberry Daiquiri and Cruzan Miami Vice, a mix of colada and daiquiri.
3216 N Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Fri – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sat – 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., Sun – 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Click here for a calendar of events.
Trader Todd’s is a perfect spot to let loose in a casual atmosphere. Karaoke starts at 7:30 p.m. every night of the week, so feel free to sip some rum courage and sing a song or two. All of the rum-based specialty drinks are made from scratch, including the Coconut Lime Rickey, Key Largo Pina Colada and The Black Pearl. The Coconut Lime Rickey includes Bacardi CoCo rum with cream of coconut and fresh lime juice. The Key Largo Pina Colada is a spot-on classic with Sailor Jerry spiced rum, pineapple, coconut and vanilla while The Black Pearl mixes Sailor Jerry spiced rum with Chambord and pineapple juice. For those with a sweet tooth, try the Starburst drink made from Bacardi O, Bacardi Coco, Stoli Citrus, grenadine, orange juice, pineapple juice and milk. If you are a fan of taking shots, then head out to this Chicago bar on Friday or Saturday night, when Bacardi Bombs are only $5 each.
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Natalie Kuchik is a longtime freelance writer living in Chicago. She enjoys interviewing bands, reviewing concerts, and writing about all things entertainment related. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.