Tag Archives | cocktails

Egg Not: Rum Drinks Revisited

3 Winter Drinks to Warm Your Spirit

Recipes by Dy Godsey
Photography by Joe Laedtke

Just like the seasons themselves, our palates change with the calendar. In the hot months, we tend to like bright, juicy cocktails. As the weather cools, we prefer more savory drinks. And, when it’s cold out? Hot drinks of all types come into favor. A steaming mug warms up your hands and your soul like nothing else can. Here are three easy ways to give yourself a little vacation from the shorter days of winter.

Hot Buttered Rum

Traditional hot buttered rums suffered from an unappetizing oil slick of butter on their surface, which this recipe avoids through the magic of fat-washing. OK, it’s not magic, but it is science (and that’s even cooler).

8 oz. barrel-aged rum
½ stick of locally produced, organic butter
2 t. ground cinnamon
½ t. ground nutmeg
1 t. ground allspice

Toast your spices over low heat until they are fragrant, then add the butter. When it is melted, stir to combine, then brown the spiced butter until it looks like caramel. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add rum, and let sit overnight.

Transfer the rum mixture to … Read More

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Summer in a Glass

By Edible staff

Milwaukee’s cocktail aficionados and beer geeks alike line the bar over at Rumpus Room. The liquor bottles and taps on the other side of the bar reflect the clientele like a mirror—diverse in age and life, some local, some exotic, and above all, each and every one carrying a taste of place and an interesting, circuitous way of how it got there.

But, back to the booze. Just ask one of the bartenders about any one of them and the excitement is palatable—the bottles come down, you take a few sips and, before you know it, you’ve ordered too many cocktails and you’re about as useless as an unprogrammed remote, the inspiration behind the summer drink Rumpus Room created especially for us at Edible Milwaukee. Feel free to try this at home, or swing by for the evolving aged one at 1030 N. Water St. throughout the summer.

The Unprogrammed Remote

This cocktail will be barrel aged at Rumpus Room, which brings out more of the rye whiskey flavor and lends a light oak flavor, as well. Barrel aging is fun and challenging at the same time because of the need to project what the … Read More

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Build a Bar

Story by Dy Godsey

The phrase “craft cocktail” has been around for so long that it’s starting to make some people uncomfortable. While those two words may have jumped the shark, applying the time-honored tenets of craftsmanship to cocktails has not. Thoughtful selection of ingredients, proper mixing and the right gear are as important behind the bar as they are in the kitchen.

Milwaukee is your palate’s playground, where local players combine to make spirits, bitters and tonic syrup in the Lincoln Warehouse. We are also home to top bartending talent. At a time when even home bartenders want to make more complex and impressive drinks, we’ve worked up a delicious concoction for you. Here are five ingredients to the perfect local cocktail.

Tea. Rishi Tea has been the secret weapon of Milwaukee’s best bartenders for years. Any recipe calling for simple syrup can be made vastly more interesting with tea syrup, and Rishi Tea is known as much for the quality of their selections as their expertise in blending them. Using their teas to make syrup is lovely way to herald next season’s juicy flavors into your spring drinks.

Rishi Tea’s Herb Lab Series builds a bridge between the … Read More

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Nostalgic? Bryant’s Takes You Back

Milwaukee’s Original Cocktail Lounge

Story by Jenna Kashou
Photography by Joe Laedtke

Change can be a good thing, but sometimes, it’s just not necessary. Customers of Bryant’s, Milwaukee’s oldest cocktail lounge, would tend to agree. Bryant’s opened their doors in 1938 and, after nearly a century of slinging drinks, they’ve clearly achieved cocktail nirvana. They even made Bon Appetit’s list of “Best Bars in America” this year. If you’re from here, you know that they’ve been “Milwaukee famous” much longer.

People flock to Bryant’s for the skillfully prepared retro and modern cocktails—but also to visit a place that, for years, has preserved its own unique identity. “The nostalgia factor plays a big part for many customers,” says Bryant’s owner John Dyer. “I hear people say all the time, ‘My parents—or even grandparents—used to come here.’”

Dyer bought the bar seven years ago. He was a customer with more than 20 years of bartending under his belt, including eight years at Brady Street’s popular Hi Hat Lounge. He had been working in real estate when he got the inside scoop on this historic landmark for sale.

Bryant’s longevity could be credited to their location. “It’s a bit off the beaten … Read More

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Punch Up Your Winter Celebrations

A convivial gathering place

Column by Dy Godsey
Photography by Joe Laedtke

Ahhhh…. the holidays. Theoretically a time of great enjoyment, filled with the warmth and love of friends and family. Snowfall, fireplaces, and twinkle lights set the stage and the air is filled with music and the scent of pine and spices. In practice, however, most of us end up stressed and exhausted during what could be the most wonderful time of the year. Our work schedules stay the same, but our sleep is replaced by riddles like, what does my husband’s sister-in-law want? Can I get to all three big-box stores on the way home from work, still have time to wrap presents, and be in bed before midnight? In our struggle to keep
up, we miss opportunities to take in the joys of the season.

Maybe the answer is to focus less on presents and more on being present. As adults, we manage our wants and needs as they arise, which is part of why it’s so difficult to shop for us. Instead of adding to general stress levels by centering holiday entertaining around gift-giving, why not give everybody a break and just get together to enjoy … Read More

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Wisconsin’s (Un)Official State Cocktail

How nostalgia gave birth to the Old Fashioned

Story and Photography by Dy Godsey

In the Holy Trinity of old-school cocktails – the Martini, the Manhattan, and the Old Fashioned – the one most intimately associated with the great State of Wisconsin is certainly the latter. We have made it our own so thoroughly that when we are presented with an actual Old Fashioned, we sometimes refuse to believe our taste buds. Over the years, I’ve heard many of my guests complain that their out-of-state bartenders “don’t even know how to make it.” The classical formula is as nearly perfect as a drink can be, but Wisconsin iconoclasts have de- and re-constructed this drink to suit nearly any palate.

In our state, if one orders an Old Fashioned, likely the bartender will serve 2 ounces of Korbel brandy and an ounce of premixed “bug juice”: sugar, water and Angostura bitters. The premixed ingredients save the steps of combining and muddling, while silently testifying to the popularity of the drink. The brandy and burgundy-colored slurry are combined in their eponymous glass. The default setting of this drink seems to be “sweet,” so your bartender will gun a splash of Sprite or … Read More

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Purely Medicinal, My Dear

Homemade tonic syrup boosts flavor

Story and Photography by Dy Godsey

Far from the farm, you can go your whole life never knowing what something is really supposed to look like, or taste like. For example, I was a TANG-generation kid who didn’t have real orange juice for years, and it was years after that before I ever had fresh-squeezed juice. You can probably imagine what a revelation that first sip was, but if you can’t imagine it, consider tonic water.

If you think it’s supposed to be colorless and mild, you’ve been drinking the TANG of tonic water. The most important ingredient in tonic is an alkaloid found in the bark of the South American quina-quina, also called the “fever tree”. The bright hues of this bark range from yellow to red, it has an earthy, pleasingly bitter flavor, and it is prized for its anti-malarial properties, among other benefits.

The quina-quina naturally grows in some regions where malaria is a deadly problem, and its medicinal properties are said to have been discovered accidentally. South American legend says that a man afflicted with malaria got lost in the forest, and drank bitter water from a stagnant pool. He feared … Read More

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Bust the Binge with Low ABV Cocktails

Story by Dy Godsey


Wisconsin has an intimate relationship with refreshment. Whenever three or more of us are gathered, there is bound to be food and drinking. From beer and brats in parking lots to the newlyweds’ champagne toast, our style of togetherness includes a glass in hand. It’s all fun while it lasts, but the flip side of our good time is the unfortunate drunken scene when one or more of us goes too far. If you’re from around here, you know just what I mean.

Everybody knows the statistics about Wisconsin and binge drinking, so I won’t bore you with the details, except to say we have earned the reputation for over-indulgence. Every bit of it.

Slowly, though, attitudes are changing. My neighbors in Southeast Wisconsin are reconsidering how we drink. Where once we were drinking to get drunk, now we do so increasingly to enjoy the subtle effects of alcohol. I have seen the unmistakable seeds of this quiet revolution from behind the bars I tend, where I have heard and overheard a generous variety of reasons why people are turning their backs on drunkenness.

The reasons for this change come down to one factor: there … Read More

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