Wisconsin knows a thing or two about classic cocktails—our friendly taverns and pubs elevate these beverages to an art form. With fresh ingredients, small-batch spirits and a jigger of creativity, bartenders are finding ways to serve up perfection in a glass. Here are three can’t-miss destinations for classic Wisconsin cocktails.
Old fashioned, Bitters & Bull, Oneida County
Is there a more classic Wisconsin drink than the old fashioned? Still, there’s nothing stodgy about the old fashioneds served at Bitters & Bull in Lake Tomahawk. After a day of enjoying Oneida County’s trails and lakes, head to this cozy Northwoods pub for some of the most inventive old fashioneds around. You’ve got some big choices to make—Bitters & Bull serves up nine variations on this classic drink, including chai & vanilla, maple and tamarind varieties!
Manhattan, Yahara Bay Distillers, Fitchburg
In recent years, craft micro-distillers have been popping up across the Dairy State. One of the best is located in Fitchburg, just outside of Madison. Yahara Bay Distillers is a family-owned microdistillery known for its single-batch whiskey. Yahara Bay is open to the public, so you can enjoy a craft cocktail in the distillery’s Public House while admiring Yahara’s copper pot still. What to order? We’d go with the Wis-Kee Manhattan, made with Yahara Bay’s whiskey, the house Wis-Kee Liqueur and a few cherries. Enjoy!
Bloody Mary, Mid Town Pub, Middleton
The Bloody Mary is a beverage with infinite variations, from mild to spicy, tangy to savory. And the garnishes can range from a simple olive to a virtual salad on a stick that threatens to topple the glass. Find your new favorite bloody at Mid Town Pub in Middleton. The pub, located near Middleton’s great downtown shopping options, has a Bloody Mary bar that features more than 30 different juice mixes and an expansive buffet with all the fixings. Cheers to that!