Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rum Runners

Extend summer with Chicago's top 5 rum punches


When you were a kid, punch meant an ouch from your brother, or a little box of sugar water with a straw.

Nowadays, punches mean large format cocktails designed to keep you drinking while forgetting that winter cometh.

Grab your cocktail crew and dive into this rundown of the Chicago's top 5 rum punches:

5. Philadelphia Fish House Punch at Punch House (pictured)
Go to this basement bar for one of the dozen types of punch. Stay because you get to drink next to a fishbowl wall. Get extra fishy with the Fish House punch — Gosling's Blackseal, Landy Cognac, Mathilde Peche, lemon, and angostura.
$8 glass, $32 carafe, $59 bowl. 1227 W. 18th St., Pilsen (773-276-3600)

4. Mai Tai at The Southern

This may be a honky-tonk, deep-South spot, but the bar travels even further south to the Caribbean via this festive punch made with Cruzan light rum, Tuaca vanilla-citrus liqueur and fruit juices. And yeah, sure, you can call it a juice cleanse.
$65. 1840 W. North Ave., Wicker Park (773-342-1840)
3. House Punch at Barrelhouse Flat
Cozy up in the second floor bar with your best girl and a pitcher of house punch (cognac, rum, Luxardo, pineapple syrup, lemon, black tea, and angostura). Or invite some friends and imbibe from a crystal bowl. Things just taste better out of crystal bowls.
$70 pitcher, $175 bowl. 2624 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park (773-857-0421)

2. Zombie Punch at Three Dots and a Dash
The signature drink of the tiki era makes a stunning comeback in this potent punch. A dangerous combination of dark Jamaican rum, Nicaraguan rum, two types of over-proof rum, lime, grapefruit, and cinnamon is served in a smoking glass skull. Okay, things taste even better out of smoking glass skulls.
$65. 435 N. Clark St., River North (312-610-4220)

1. Old Town Punch at The Refinery
If committing to drinking a gallon of alcohol is a bit daunting, try this punch by the glass in the warm bar of this new Old Town restaurant. The stunning punch keeps it sunny with Appleton V/X rum, cognac, peach brandy, lemon, and nutmeg. Probably a good thing they're serving this by the glass.
$12. 1209 N. Wells St., Old Town (312-854-2970)

Photo courtesy Daniel Blackman

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