The best drinks may be the ones you don’t know about

There are precious few ways left to impress friends with cocktail cred in Chicago. Many people know way too much about bourbon, may have a favorite mezcal or an entire cabinet full of artisanal bitters too. So how do you get an edge? Short of being a regular at a fancypants bar where every bartender on staff knows you by name, the easiest way to out-hipster your friends (and be rewarded with a delicious cocktail at the same time) is to be acutely aware of the bars in Chicago that serve notable off-menu drinks. Here are nine of the best, listed at bars from north to south.

A cocktail with a pink flower

8 Three Dots and a Dash — Poipu Beach Boogie Board

Though River North’s subterranean tiki destination changes its menu often, the bartenders pride themselves on ability to make hundreds of off-menu drinks — so if there’s a favorite from a past menu, chances are they’ll help you out. Of particular note is the “Poipu Beach Boogie Board,” a high-octane mix of rye, overproof rum, lemon, pineapple, grenadine, guava, and maraschino.

435 N Clark St
Chicago, IL