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The Dawson serves Octopus' Garden for large groups.
Photo: Nicole Ess The Dawson serves Octopus' Garden for large groups.

15 shareable punches and large-format drinks to order

These bars and restaurants serve punches and large-format drinks for big parties or just a small crew with a great thirst.

By Elizabeth Atkinson

Whether it's a birthday party or just a Friday night, when the evening calls for sharing a cocktail with friends, these Chicago restaurants and bars have you covered. From a punch that serves your 20 closest friends on a hot rooftop bar to smoothies built for two, try these extra large options the next time you're out.

Fish Bowl #3
Courtesy Analogue

Fishbowls at Analogue

Bars Cocktail bars Logan Square

Logan Square cocktail bar Analogue serves two large fishbowls for $36 apiece. The #3 has rum, cognac, sherry and pineapple, while #5 is made with bourbon, ginger beer, black tea, honey and Angostura.

Gold Coast cocktail
Courtesy BIG Bar

Very Big Cocktails at BIG Bar

Bars Hotel bars Loop

BIG Bar offers all their cocktails, like a mule with Bulleit bourbon, lime and ginger beer, in two formats—Big and Very Big. The Very Big cocktails start at $38 and go up from there, and can serve two or more people.

The Grey Garden
Courtesy Cindy's

Apothecary Service at Cindy's

Restaurants Contemporary American Loop

Chicago Athletic Association rooftop bar Cindy's offers an "apothecary service" that serves 20 people. The Grey Garden is a mix of vodka and creme de violette with tea and lemon, while the Kick in the Daisy is a spicy drink with ancho-infused tequila and watermelon juice. The drinks are $250 each.

Octopus' Garden
Photo: Nicole Ess

Large-Scale Cocktails at The Dawson

Restaurants American River West/West Town

The Dawson serves five cocktails in various sizes, from Botija Nueva No. 2, which serves 3-5 and has brandy, Grand Marnier and pomegranate for $48. The largest one, Octopus' Garden, serves 6-12 and is made with rum, cognac, strawberry, grapefruit and other ingredients, and costs $200.

Rising Sun Punch
Courtesy Elle on the River

Rising Sun Punch at Elle On The River

Bars Cocktail bars River North

Elle on the River offers a variety of punches—a single glass is $10, and you'll save some cash by bringing friends—a punch for 10 is $75 and a serving for 20 is $150.

Punch Bowl
Courtesy Frontier

Punches at Frontier's

Restaurants Contemporary American River West/West Town

Frontier offers three punches that serve up to six people, like the Raspberry Gin Buck, with gin, raspberry-basil syrup, lime and ginger beer. The punches are $55 each.

Hemingway Daquiri
Courtesy the Jimmy

Community Cocktails at the Jimmy

Bars Cocktail bars River North

The Jimmy's summer cocktail list includes three pitcher drinks that serve 8 and cost $65. The bourbon tea is sweet with a bite, the Hemingway daiquiri is tart and sour and the Pimm's cup is refreshing with ginger beer and gin.

Lost Lake is one of the best bars in Chicago.
Photograph: Martha Williams

Drinks to Share at Lost Lake

Bars Cocktail bars Avondale

Lost Lake has four large cocktails to share with others. The cocktails range from $25 to $45 and include Wave of Mutilation/A Fish Tank Needs Sharks, with dark rum and cinnamon, and the Lima Lima Scorpion Bowl with gin and passionfruit.

Wake Up and Gin
Photo: Chloe List

Cocktail Pitchers at Nico Osteria

Restaurants Seafood Gold Coast

Nico serves three different cocktails in pitchers—a traditional Bloody Mary, Wake Up and Gin with canteloupe-orange juice and prosecco and the Sandia Fix with tequila, lime cordial and watermelon bitters. They're $55 a pitcher and serve 4-6.

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