Best Rum Cocktails In Chicago

May 29, 2014 7:00 AM

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Made with molasses, rum is a versatile liquor that goes well with a number of mixers — not just sweet ones. Discover the many sides of rum with these five cocktail bars/restaurants throughout the city. Whether you’re looking for a classic daiquiri or a modern twist on an old favorite, these hotspots have you covered.
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Violet Hour
1520 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-1500

This unassuming cocktail bar in Wicker Park is the place to be, and not just because there’s always a line out the door (since reservations aren’t taken). The artisanal cocktail menu is extensive, featuring just about every liquor, and some of the best are on the rum part of the menu. Sip on a dark and stormy — made with Brugal Anejo, Cruzan Black Strap, ginger syrup and lime — while lounging in the dark and dramatic bar. You can also imbibe on other creative rum creations, like graveyard shift (Smith & Cross, cinnamon-espresso syrup, Amaro Abano, pineapple, Campari and grapefruit bitter), while nibbling on a handful of appetizers and desserts.
Three Dots and a Dash
435 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 610-4220

Don’t let walking down an alley to get to this Near North Side bar intimidate you. Once you step inside, there’s a decidedly “Gilligan’s Island” feel. Plus, the tiki bar drinks are unlike anything else in the city. While Paul McGee has mixed up the drinks to include more than traditional rum-based tiki drinks, rum is an important part of many of the classic drinks, all priced at $13. Savor the sweet flavors of the tropical itch (originally designed in 1957 and made with overproof rum), as well as a traditional mai tai, among many others. The modern drinks are less rum-focused but just as delightful. And all, of course, are served in fun tiki glasses, and that goes for the drinks made for sharing too.
(Photo Credit: Tom Harris /

(Photo Credit: Tom Harris /

Billy Sunday
3143 W. Logan Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-2485

Named as a “best bar” by a number of publications — including Chicago Magazine and Food & Wine, among others — this Logan Square bar features a wide variety of unique cocktails found nowhere else. Whether you’re hankering for a mixed rum drink (like hoar’s frost made with London Dock Rum along with gin, orange Curacao, lemon and grenadine) or a tonic (such as a hart, made with Demerara rum, wild cherry bark, Gentain root, flax seed and goji berry), mixologist Alex Bachman has you covered. Other libations, beers and wines are also available to imbibe while enjoying the small plates of food.

Related: Best Cocktail Bars In Chicago
The Drawing Room
937 N. Rush St.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 266-2694

Located in the Gold Coast neighborhood, this trendy lounge is known as a pioneer in the field of creative cocktails. The extensive drink menu has been designed by a number of “master bartenders” to offer drinks that are made with house-made mixers and locally sourced ingredients. All of these culinary cocktails are $14, and they go wonderfully with the award-winning food from Chef Thomas Sheean.
CH Distillery
564 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 707-8780

For a rum like no other (and a vodka like no other), visit this West Loop bar. The distillery makes all of its liquors in house, and the rum is specially made with molasses as well as blackstrap in oak barrels. With an alcohol content of 40 percent, the bar’s drinks — daiquiri, classic sour or a dessert ‘travel agent’ — pack quite the punch. Whether you take a tour of the distillery or not, you can enjoy these classic cocktails with a variety of appetizers, cheeses, nuts and desserts.

Related: Most Creative Cocktails In Chicago
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at

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