Helena Marie Fahnrich
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It’s Cocktail Time

Across the city, opportunities abound to develop your cocktail knowledge. Plus: two new bars.

By - Sep 22nd, 2014 03:02 pm
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Cocktail Week

Cocktail Week

Sunday Sept. 21 marked the start of Milwaukee’s seven-day celebration of food and drink culture. Running through the 27th, the bulk of Milwaukee Cocktail Week’s dinner and drink pairing events will occur during the week. Three afternoon bartending seminars will take place early on, focusing on things like distillation or aging processes as well as deconstructed samplings of spirits. Although the seminars are free and do not require reservations, RSVP’s are encouraged. Happy hour and after-dinner cocktail events are scheduled throughout the week too.

“Urban-Rustic-North American-Restaurant” AP Bar & Kitchen is hosting a four-course dinner pairing at 6:30 p.m. on Monday featuring Hendrick’s Gin. The distillery’s representative Kris Dopek will be attending to discuss the gin’s nuance between courses. Reservations are required via telephone, (414) 672 – 6000. A theme of gin-centered drinks carries through into a 9:00 p.m. event with Journeyman Distillery at Blue Jacket, located just two blocks east of AP Bar & Kitchen at 135 E. National Ave. Local bartenders will be competing for the title of top gin fizz cocktail iteration, sampling is part of the event!

As a leading example of farm-to-table philosophy, Braise echoes principles rooted in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The restaurant and culinary school will be providing both setting and food for a three course pairing dinner with Milwaukee’s Central Standard Craft Distillery Tuesday night from 6 – 9:00 p.m. Braise’s pairing dinner highlights an ongoing Tuesday night family-style dinner the restaurant hosts once a month. They are located at 1101 S. 2nd St., tickets for the event can be purchased here.

Brady Street’s Cempazuchi Comida Brava hosts a 6-9:00 p.m. event Wednesday featuring Agave-based drinks. The tasting will consist of five courses, two paired with Tequila, two with Mezcal, one with Sotol. Food will be regional Mexican cuisine and street food. Reservations are required, (414) 291 – 5233.

There are a few different locations and distilleries that cycle through the week’s event schedule, with Blue Jacket among them. They will host Burlington’s Aeppel Treow Winery & Distillery for a dinner drink pairing on Thursday. This pairing, scheduled from 6-10:00 p.m., includes a cocktail hour at six. Required reservations can be made over the phone at (414) 312-1098.

The event at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s new restaurant Locavore will feature St. George Spirits. In-house certified Sommelier Christian Damiano will host the Friday night dinner. In addition to the four course pairing dinner, foodies attending this event can enjoy regional and micro-brews, organic wines and cocktails featuring local ingredients from the bar.

The culminating event will take place Saturday afternoon at the Iron Horse Hotel from 1-4:00 p.m. All participating distillers and representatives will be at the appropriately named Cocktail College & Spirit Festival where enthusiasts can sample products and attend seminars aimed at improving and adding to the public’s knowledge of cocktail recipes.


Craft beer culture is continuing to grow in Milwaukee’s surrounding area. The Malt Shoppe will be opening Oct. 24 out in Wauwatosa at 813 N. Mayfair Rd. Owner Pat Lafferty will open his new bar with 30 beers on tap and an impressive aim of 1,000 bottled and canned varieties to come. The bar will sell nothing but beer and customers will be able to purchase bottles individually or by the case. Lafferty will make available for sale 32 and 64 oz. growlers. His vision is to create both a hub for those enamored with craft beer and a place for folks to learn about the beers they love with tastings and special events.

Libby’s Lounge (1682 N. Van Buren St.) closed earlier this year. Having opened in 1968, it’s safe to say it had a good run. The good (or bad) news for neighbors is that the building is unlikely to be vacant for for much longer though, Van Buren Sports Bar and Grill has filed for a liquor license to re-open the bar.

Photos from the Cocktail Week Tailgate Kickoff

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