bartenders are blending food and booze into recipes that are as
complex and delicious as some of the most delicately crafted dishes
coming out of the restaurant kitchen.
by Josh Pietrykowski
starts by sautťing down sweet yellow onions and celery in extra
virgin olive oil. Then he adds garlic and fresh Roma tomatoes, and a
touch of locally made honey. The process of sauteing and cooking down
the vegetables takes about one hour. Then, itís cooled, pureed and
strained, with a touch of tomato paste added for color. A Polish vodka
is added, along with a celery stick, a pickle and a beef straw.
"People can taste its freshness ó they know it doesnít come
from a mix," Pietrykowski says.
Border bourbon gets fortified with Lone Spruce Farms maple syrup and
Maurin cherry liqueur before being topped off with Lakefrontís
Riverwest Stein for a new take on the classic boilermaker. "Since
the hotel [Milwaukee Marriott Downtown] is newly constructed, and
Millioke is housed in the old part of the building, I fashioned the
cocktail menu the same way: taking classic cocktails and putting new
twists on them," says food and beverage manager Coyle.
Poor Ira by Mike McDonald
First, a thyme
tincture is made by infusing vodka with fresh thyme, then bar manager
McDonald makes a kykeon syrup ó a concoction of pearl barley, honey
and Riesling wine. The syrup and tincture are shaken up with North
Shore No. 11 gin, Clear Creek pear brandy and some freshly squeezed
lemon juice, along with Peychaudís and Bittercube Jamaican No. 2
by Joe Elmergreen
Branded at The Iron Horse Hotel
marinates Bulleit Bourbon with pecans and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla
beans. "I worked on this at home. I infused different batches for
12 hours, for 24 hours, for 48 hours and for 72 hours,"
Elmergreen explains. The 24-hour batches were the best. Bar manager
Ellie Harbeck suggested adding some house-made saltedcaramel syrup,
Bittercube Blackstrap bitters and an ice cube that has a tiny sliver
of orange frozen in it. The result is a drink that "first tastes
like Grandmaís pecan sandies, but as the ice melts, it tastes more
like pecan pie," Elmergreen says.
Daiquiri by Courtney Kelley
cocktail created by Odd Duckís head bartender starts with a beet
shrub or a "drinkable vinegar." Itís mixed with rhum
agricole, a bit of silver rum and lime juice. "Itís got this
beautiful, gorgeous color," describes Melissa Buchholz, Odd Duck
co-owner. "Itís for someone who is adventurous and likes savory
desserts. Itís a very earthy, vegetal daiquiri."