Last spring, the city’s most celebrated bartender, Paul McGee (No. 87 on “The Power 100 2015” list), spent a week in the Caribbean with Ed “the Minister of Rum” Hamilton (the world’s expert on sugarcane spirits), sipping ti’ punch (rhum agricole, lime, and raw sugar) on the beaches of Martinique. It was all in the name of research.
In collaboration with Land and Sea Dept. (Longman & Eagle, Parson’s Chicken & Fish) and with an assist from tiki titan Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco), McGee opened a 55-seat oasis in January where the rhum agricole (a rum distilled with sugarcane juice rather than molasses) flows like water and the tasteful tiki decor and exotic music create a convincing island vibe.
Playful garnishes dot Lost Lake’s 16 cocktails, and for the full (refined slushy) Caribbean experience, try the Tic Tac Taxi—two types of rum blended with coconut, passion fruit, and lime—served in a coconut cup. 3154 W. Diversey Ave.