We scoured Chicago bars for the most ridiculously over-the-top cocktails we could find, and boy, did we come up with some winners. Whether you're looking for truly fantastical tiki garnishes, large-format showstoppers to share with friends or cocktails that will break the bank, Chicago's best bars have a drink for you. Prepare your Instagram account for an onslaught of beautiful beverages.
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Looking for a simple cocktail that's packaged in a photo-ready way? The Conrad Chicago Hotel's rooftop has just the thing. This drink includes a bottle of Sapporo and your choice of Giffard Schnapps. Here's the twist: The concoction is served in a Chinese food to-go container. Let us know if you figure out how to drink this one—we're still trying to figure it out.
When you really want to ball out, head straight to Three Dots and a Dash and order the Treasure Chest. It's a mixture of rare rums, pineapple, guava, passionfruit and lemon packed inside a treasure chest that's oozing with dry ice, which creates a foggy effect. To top it off, the large-format cocktail is served with a bottle of Dom Perignon. The whole thing rings up at $385, but it serves six to eight, which means it's only $50-ish per person. Doable, right?
When your party is feeling fancy AF, Punch House's Tableside Champagne Punch Service is the right call. The buildable bowl combines Hennessy, curaçao, Jamaican rum, black tea, lemon, Angostura and Piper champagne. It serves six people and rings up at a cool $225.
Practically made for social sharing, this pretty thing from Bad Hunter is overflowing with fresh fruit—perfect for sunnier days ahead. It's crafted with Plymouth gin, Rhine Hall oak apple brandy, blue curaçao, lime, kiwi-pineapple syrup, pineapple juice and just a bit of tiki bitters to pull it all together. Though this one is made to be shared, you might want it all to yourself.
Don't judge a book by its cover. This might look like simple sangria, but the ruby-red concoction takes more than 40 hours to make. It starts with a macerating process that combines wine, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, strawberries and cognac. From there, they pour it into a Yama tower (the big swirly dripper you'll see at the restaurant), where the sangria drips out one drop at a time to infuse the liquid with coriander, pink peppercorn, star anise and cinnamon.
Ducking into the Ladies' Room at Fat Rice already feels a little over the top, but this cocktail is really something else. The Grande Royale goes for $280 and serves eight to 10 (preorder it if you can). The cocktail itself mixes house-made spirits like "Campari," creme de cassis, allspice dram and wild pine lemon bitters. It's topped off with a bottle of grower champagne ($170), kind of like a Corona-rita—but better.