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Three Dots and a Dash
Three Dots and a Dash
Photo: Marc Much

Where to Experience Chicago's Rum Renaissance

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Three Dots and a Dash
| Photo: Marc Much

Rum's not just for spring break and pirates anymore. With boutique high-quality rums coming onto the scene, this often-overlooked spirit is back on the local scene in a big way. Born from a nefarious past bred of piracy, the slave trade, and organized crime, rum is distilled from sugarcane (rhum agricole) or its by-product molasses.

The "Minister of Rum," Chicago-based Ed Hamilton, says that "Chicago was behind a little bit on the rum front, but we're catching up quickly." Check out the map to see his, and more, recommendations.


· All Cocktail Week 2013 Coverage [-ECHI-]
—Laine McDonnell

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Three Dots and a Dash

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This subterranean tikki spot on Hubbard is doing more exciting things with rum than anywhere else in the city. Cocktail master Paul McGee uses blends of rum in his traditional tiki drinks and his own creations like the "Tropic of Thistle" made with aged Puerto Rican rum, aged Caribbean rum, Batavia Arrack, Cynar, Luxardo Amaro Abano, lime, cane syrup and mint.

Billy Sunday

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Logan Square cocktail temple Billy Sunday has embraced rum in drinks like their "Bijou," made with rhum agricole, Vermouth di Torino, centerbe, and angelica bitters.

Sable Kitchen & Bar

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The mad geniuses at Sable in the Hotel Palomar have been championing rum since their opening with their fan-favorite cocktail: "Tenser’s Transformation," made with Cruzan Blackstrap, Cynar, Averna, raspberry, and lemon.

The Berkshire Room

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This spot favors a “bartender’s choice” style of cocktailing, so making rum your base spirit is key. Then you can decide on things like spice and citrus.

The Dawson

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Brand new drinking restaurant the Dawson offers a blend of rums in their "Small Axe": El Dorado 12 yr rum, Appelton vx rum, Smith and Cross rum, falernum, lime, bitters, with a Nardini amaro float. Hint: There’s a bonus bar on the second floor if you’re looking for quieter evening.

The Drawing Room

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Escape the Gold Coast and tuck below Rush Street at The Drawing Room for some rum. Their expertly crafted cocktails like "The Aldehydes Abound," made with Neisson Rhum Blanc, Merlet Crème de Fraise de Bois, Tio Pepe Fino, and lime bitters, are an experience.

Punch House

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Below Dusek’s you’ll find this gem that specializes in socializing punches like the "Philadelphia Fish House Punch, 1732," made with Gosling’s Black Seal rum, Landy cognac, Mathilde Peche, lemon and angostura.

Double A

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Check out this lounge below Mercadito in River North to grab some tacos and their killer "Giusette's Raft," made with Flor de Cana 4 yr rum, lime orgeat, and angostura bitters.

Gilt Bar

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The masters at Gilt Bar make some of the most dangerous Dark and Stormy’s in town – come to the dark side, of rum that is.

CH Distillery & Cocktail Bar

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CH Distillery likes rum so much they make it on site. Look for their upcoming daiquiri cocktail when they uncork the magic from the bourbon barrels.

Three Dots and a Dash

This subterranean tikki spot on Hubbard is doing more exciting things with rum than anywhere else in the city. Cocktail master Paul McGee uses blends of rum in his traditional tiki drinks and his own creations like the "Tropic of Thistle" made with aged Puerto Rican rum, aged Caribbean rum, Batavia Arrack, Cynar, Luxardo Amaro Abano, lime, cane syrup and mint.

Billy Sunday

Logan Square cocktail temple Billy Sunday has embraced rum in drinks like their "Bijou," made with rhum agricole, Vermouth di Torino, centerbe, and angelica bitters.

Sable Kitchen & Bar

The mad geniuses at Sable in the Hotel Palomar have been championing rum since their opening with their fan-favorite cocktail: "Tenser’s Transformation," made with Cruzan Blackstrap, Cynar, Averna, raspberry, and lemon.

The Berkshire Room

This spot favors a “bartender’s choice” style of cocktailing, so making rum your base spirit is key. Then you can decide on things like spice and citrus.

The Dawson

Brand new drinking restaurant the Dawson offers a blend of rums in their "Small Axe": El Dorado 12 yr rum, Appelton vx rum, Smith and Cross rum, falernum, lime, bitters, with a Nardini amaro float. Hint: There’s a bonus bar on the second floor if you’re looking for quieter evening.

The Drawing Room

Escape the Gold Coast and tuck below Rush Street at The Drawing Room for some rum. Their expertly crafted cocktails like "The Aldehydes Abound," made with Neisson Rhum Blanc, Merlet Crème de Fraise de Bois, Tio Pepe Fino, and lime bitters, are an experience.

Punch House

Below Dusek’s you’ll find this gem that specializes in socializing punches like the "Philadelphia Fish House Punch, 1732," made with Gosling’s Black Seal rum, Landy cognac, Mathilde Peche, lemon and angostura.

Double A

Check out this lounge below Mercadito in River North to grab some tacos and their killer "Giusette's Raft," made with Flor de Cana 4 yr rum, lime orgeat, and angostura bitters.

Gilt Bar

The masters at Gilt Bar make some of the most dangerous Dark and Stormy’s in town – come to the dark side, of rum that is.

CH Distillery & Cocktail Bar

CH Distillery likes rum so much they make it on site. Look for their upcoming daiquiri cocktail when they uncork the magic from the bourbon barrels.

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