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Chicago's Best Rum Bars

April 11, 2018

Inspired by the Chicago Rum Festival, we round up the city’s best rum bars – from casual tiki joints to swank speakeasies.

It’s club tropicana a-go-go at Lost Lake, a 30s-tinged tiki bar. Hunker down in one of the booths and let the expert tenders mix you a drink from one of the staggering 275 varieties of rum. If you’re at a loss as to what to order, a safe bet is their signature cocktail concocted with aged Jamaican Rum, passion fruit, lime, pineapple, maraschino and Campari. The rustic-tropical interior and trendy crowd creates lively, weekend vibe, whatever the day of the week – we drink to that! 

For swanky speakeasy vibes it has to be The Violet Hour; this Wicker Park bar is the go-to for artisanal brews and sultry salon-style decor. Evoking a sense of pre-prohibition libations, the seasonally changing menu (designed by James Beard, no less) stars expertly crafted spiced-rum cocktails. The elegantly appointed marble bar the perfect perch for people watching.

Named among the World’s Best 50 Bars by Drinks International, Three Dots and a Dash is an enduringly popular, tropical sipper tucked away from the vibrant streets of River North. Seek solace in rum-based cocktails handcrafted with fresh, seasonal fruit and spirits from around the world.

If you’re in Chi-Town on a Tuesday beeline to cosy, low-lit Ward Eight for the weekly tiki takeover. A simple, wood-panelled fit out means the focus is firmly on the well-executed drinks; sip on their impeccable take of an old fashioned and enjoy the laid-back atmos. There’s also a small plate food menu for when hunger beckons. Cin cin!

Lost Lake / 3154 W Diversey Ave / +1 773 293 6048 / 5pm-2am Sun-Fri, until 3am Sat /

The Violet Hour / 1520 N Damen Ave / +1 773 252 1500 / 6pm-2am Sun-Fri, until 3am Sat /

Three Dots and a Dash / 435 N Clark St / +1 312-610-4220 / 4pm-2am Sun-Fri, 2pm-3am Sat /

Ward Eight / 620 Howard Street / Evanston / +1 847 420 7353 / 5pm-12am Mon-Thu, until 2am Fri-Sat, until 11am Sun /