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3 Pokemon-Themed Cocktails To Try In Chicago This Weekend

By Mae Rice in Food on Jul 22, 2016 8:07PM

Not to state the obvious, but everyone, everywhere has gone slightly insane over Pokemon Go. Players are hiring Pokemon-specific chauffeurs and going to Lolla-sized Pokemon meetups and stampeding and finding dead bodies. Even people who aren't playing are pouring energy into not playing the game.

It's enough to make you want a stiff drink—one that's Pokemon-themed, obviously. Luckily, three Chicago drinking establishments have come to your rescue with Pokemon Go-themed cocktail specials. Without further ado, meet the cocktails that are almost as thrilling as The Game That Shall Always Be Named.

The PokePotion at IO Godfrey (photo courtesy of the Godfrey Hotel)

1. The Pokepotion at the IO Godfrey ($12)
Available through the end of July

This electric-blue cocktail is vodka-based and flavored with fruit: pineapple, strawberry, lychee and black tea, to be exact. The thing plonked in the middle of the drink that looks like a pokeball, is, alas, not one, because pokeballs are not real. It's a ball of lychee and strawberry, though, and we bet it's delicious.

The IO Godfrey is located at 127 W. Huron St., in the Godfrey Hotel.

AIRE's Pikachu cocktail (left, photo courtesy of Heron Agency), and Pikachu at the premiere of 'Pokemon the Movie 2000' in 2000 (Kevin Winter / Staff)

2. The Pikachu at AIRE Rooftop Bar ($10)
Available Saturday and Sunday only

This cocktail was created to look like Pikachu, and it does! It also looks like a beverage, obviously, but it's garnished with two red cherries that do distinctly resemble Pikachu's cheeks. Especially a few drinks in. The drink itself is also distinctly Pikachu-colored, a mix of orange juice, grenadine, Absolute vodka and Red Bull, which will help you catch Pokemon into the wee hours. (Just kidding, you're already doing that.)

One more thing that's noteworthy about this cocktail: It's a Pokemon-themed cocktail at an extremely serious bar. AIRE is a rooftop bar in the Loop with a "smart casual" dress code and epic views of the skyline. (So is the IO Godfrey, for that matter, though they don't have a dress code to our knowledge.) You'd think the team here might think Pokemon is gauche—but no. Pokemon transcends gauche.

AIRE is located at 100 W. Monroe St., in the Hyatt Centric in the Loop.

Yusho's Pika-Chu Hai (photo by Mae Rice/Chicagoist)

3. The Pika-Chu Hai at Yusho ($8.25)
Available until people stop requesting it

The Pika-Chu Hai is a fresh take on a long-running cocktail at Yusho: the Chu-Hai. It's a well-known cocktail in Japan, made with citrus and shochu, a clear, vodka-like liquor. (In Japan, shochu is actually more popular than sake, according to Forbes.) Yusho's Chu-Hai is made with barley shochu, grapefruit, sugar and jasmine green tea. The Pika-Chu Hai incarnation, available upon request, comes with a burnt-sugar lemon peel, designed to look like a Pikachu tail. (It also comes with an automatic 25 percent discount, which brings the list price, $11, down to $8.25.)

Though Yusho has two Chicago locations—the flagship one in Logan Square, and a second one in Hyde Park—this cocktail is only available at the Logan Square location. The general manager there, Timothy Koenig, told Chicagoist that they're offering the cocktail because the Logan Square location has turned out to be a Pokemon Go gym.

Yusho is located at 2853 N. Kedzie Ave.