Tiki bars may be fun, but traditionally haven’t served great drinks. That’s changing as the craft cocktail culture moves into the thatch and bamboo world of tiki-land. “You’re getting a good drink along with a lot of fun and décor,” says Niki Ganong, author of The Field Guide to Drinking in America: A Traveler’s Guide to State Liquor Laws (Overcup Press, $19.99) “They generally all have competent mixologists behind these colorful concoctions.” The spirits writer shares some favorite Polynesian-themed bars with Larry Bleiberg for USA Today.
Three Dots and a Dash
This underground bar, whose name comes from a cocktail and the Morse code for “V” for “victory,” celebrates the early days of tiki with drinks like the Zombie Punch, a beverage for three or four that’s served in a skull mug that wafts off dry-ice smoke. “The bar itself is sophisticated, small and exclusive,” Ganong says. 312-610-4220;threedotschicago.com