The Bucket List: 7 Large-Format Cocktails to Share Before Summer’s End
Where to find the best shareable cocktails this summer
Fact: an overwhelming percentage of great summer days involve sharing a drink with friends.
But seldom is that drink actually singular.
As in: one big-ass punch bowl that can be divvied and passed around as you see fit.
So we made you a very literal bucket list of Chicago’s best large-format cocktails, all of which can and should be shared among friends.
If your summer goals include drinking out of elaborate vessels — shells, pineapples and disco balls included — these bars have you covered.
Three Dots and a Dash
The Drink: Rock Out with your Conch Out
Why You’re Drinking It: Large-format cocktails and tiki drinks go hand-in-hand, so a stop at Three Dots and a Dash is a must. Their newest con-conch-tion blends all the tiki standards, rum, lime, grapefruit, pineapple, pomegranate, falernum and absinthe and serves 5-6 people. We take no responsibility for what happens after you’ve polished it off.
The Drink: Fibonacci
Why You’re Drinking It: Perfect for two, the Fibonacci gets its name from the Fibonacci Sequence, a mathematical rule commonly found in nature. Apogee’s mixologist Ben Schiller combined the drink’s ingredients in the Fibonacci numeric sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, including Flor de Cana Rum, North Shore Aquavit, Raspberry, and Lemon. Got all that? Doesn’t matter. Enjoy sipping the cocktail out of its nautilus shell on the rooftop 26 floors above River North.
The Drink: Whiskey Smash
Why You’re Drinking It: Another way to booze with a view is at LondonHouse’s LH Rooftop. Take in sweeping views of the Chicago River on the 22nd floor with the decanter-sized Whiskey Smash. The glass vessel blends a refreshing mix of mint-infused Knob Creek rye, Amontillado sherry, vanilla syrup, and bitters. Each decanter serves four, making it a great way to share an evening al fresco.
The Ladies’ Room
The Drink: The Grand Royale
Why You’re Drinking It: If an over-the-top drink is what you’re looking for, check out The Grand Royale. The drink’s name is for good reason: it will set you back a cool $280, but it serves 8-10 thirsty friends and includes an entire bottle of champagne upturned in the center. Beverage Director Annie Beebe-Tron blends together cognac, calvados, Peychaud’s bitters, and a variety of The Ladies’ Room’s house made spirits, including “campari”, creme de cassis, allspice dram and wild pine lemon bitters.
El Che Bar
The Drink: Los Pinguinos Punch
Why You’re Drinking It: West Loop Argentinian hot spot, El Che Bar, balances its meat-heavy menu with a selection of refreshing cocktails, including the Los Pinguinos Punch. The drink’s ingredients are constantly rotating, ensuring you’re bound to try something new all summer. Served in a penguin pitcher for four people, the punch combines Martin Miller’s Gin, Cocchi Americano, housemade Moscatel syrup, lemon, orange bitters and is topped with soda water.
The Drink: Disco Punch
Why You’re Drinking It: Wednesday is the night to stop by Boleo, the rooftop bar located in The Gray Hotel. Why? That’s when it turns into a disco-themed hangout, complete with disco cocktails to be enjoyed under the retractable roof. Grab eight or nine of your friends to try the Disco Punch served in a spinning copper disco ball. The orb houses a mixture of vanilla-infused Absolut Elyx, a house rum blend, banana, passionfruit and a dash of cinnamon, and is topped with a whole bottle of champagne to take you to funky town.
The Drink: Fool’s Gold
Why You’re Drinking It: If drinking out of life-size gold pineapples are your thing, Arbella’s Fool’s Gold cocktail will fit the bill. Arbella’s cocktail list is globally-inspired and broken up into specific regions. Fool’s Gold explores the flavors of Mexico with mezcal, pineapple, honey and amaro, invoking relaxed summer vibes. The rose gold pineapple’s size is perfect for sharing, though we won’t judge if you feel like imbibing alone.