Cocktails Everyone Should Be Familiar With
Best Bars in Milwaukee

Cocktails Everyone Should Be Familiar With

You’re sitting at a nice bar with someone you want to impress. Quick question, what cocktail do you order? There are five mixed drinks in the world that everyone needs to know. You should know what goes into them and why they are staples of every bar. Some of these cocktails are fruity and sweet, others will hit your mouth like a horrifyingly old boot. All of them are delicious in their own unique and peculiar ways. So, if you want to start making a great first impression, here are the top five cocktails you need to be familiar with.

  1. Old Fashioned

    If you’re unfamiliar with this classic, it’s time to become well acquainted. One and a half ounces bourbon or whiskey, two dashes of bitters, a muddled sugar cube, and a few dashes of water, this is the definition of elegance. The Old Fashioned won’t knock your socks off, it will remind you why we wear socks in the first place. It’s the tuxedo of cocktails and you’ll never look dumb ordering it at the bar. Garnished with an orange peel, the Old Fashioned mixes citrus and whiskey to perfection.

  2. Negroni

    I once had a friend describe a Negroni as the best tasting cold syrup he’d ever had. He wasn’t wrong. This sophisticated drink takes time to meld with your tastebuds. It’s not something that most people will celebrate the first time they have it, but there’s a certain allure that will keep you coming back time and again. Equal parts Campari, sweet red vermouth, and gin, the Negroni takes on a scarlet red allure. Each portion serving the whole in a cocktail of flavors that you will be peeling back and ascertaining for years to come.

  3. Dirty Martini

    Do not shake your martini… ever. James Bond does not know what he’s talking about when it comes to alcohol. When a martini is shaken the ice breaks down and dilutes the drink, taking away from the flavors. A martini is delicate, there’s a reason its glass is painfully difficult to manage. You need to take your time, experience the martini, it’s not meant to be downed and forgotten. A classic martini is one half ounce of vermouth and three ounces gin. To make it dirty, throw a few olives and a touch of olive juice inside. If you’re looking for the best martini of your life, ask the bar if they have blue cheese olives. Any bar worth your time will have them, and your mouth will thank you profusely.

  4. Moscow Mule

    I love Moscow Mules. I will fight for them every time a debate comes up on the best cocktails of all time. Here’s the thing though, stop ordering them at every bar you go to. It’s a painful truth, but most bars royally screw up their Moscow Mules. Unless, they have fresh ginger or make their ginger beer in house. Otherwise, the bar buys the cheapest ginger beer possible and completely ruins the cocktail. So, be assertive, ask how the bar prepares the ginger beer and don’t settle for anything less than the best. One and a half ounces vodka, four ounces ginger beer, and one sixth ounce of lime juice, the Moscow Mule is deceptively tricky.

  5. Manhattan

    This is for my sweet tooth lovers out there. The Manhattan is the closest you can get to refined dessert in a glass. Two ounces rye or Canadian whisky, a dash of bitters, three fourths ounce of sweet red vermouth, and a Maraschino cherry as garnish, the Manhattan is pristine. Its deep red hues raise the quality of its presentation, while the flavors harken to something more playful and immature. It’s a terrific blend of youth and class that tastes delicious during brunch or late into the evening.

With the internet and all of the world’s information right at hand, there’s no excuse to not know what’s in your cocktail. Bartenders all over the world are testing and creating brand new concoctions all the time. Though, for those times where you need to make a good impression, it’s important to have a base understanding of what drinks are out there. From the Old Fashioned to the Moscow Mule, there’s something for everyone, but make sure to challenge yourself and figure out why some cocktails never go out of style.

Top 12 bars in Milwaukee in 2023
Best Bars in Milwaukee

Top 12 bars in Milwaukee in 2023

Milwaukee is a brew city known for its beer, lively bars, dance clubs, etc. midnight hikes and overall a great nightlife. There are so many good bars here that you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Most bars in Milwaukee let you order a carefully crafted drink and have a laid-back conversation with the locals.

Some bars though, offer a much unique experience which will intimidate you to choose them over the others. From painting a masterpiece to whispering a password to get in, you can expect all kinds of fun at Milwaukee’s bars.

Here are the top 12 bars in Milwaukee in 2019:

1. Mo’s Irish Pub

A lively Irish pub right out of Ireland where everyone can find something to eat and drink. Mo’s Irish Pub opened in 2003 and offers genuine Irish hospitality. It’s a great place to meet new people or spend some quality time with friends. They have great draft beer and various cocktails on the menu. For sports lovers, large TV screens are installed all around the pub; furthermore, they run a free shuttle to the Brewers games. Local bands play live here on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

2. Milwaukee Ale House

A micropub in downtown Milwaukee that offers food and beer seven days a week. Milwaukee Ale House is a microbrewery and restaurant with two-story stamped concrete patio seating on the Milwaukee River. Beers from Milwaukee Brewing Co. are brewed on-site here. It’s a great place to enjoy a freshly brewed beer while watching yachts and kayakers cruising along the river. Lunch and dinner are served every day at this pub with late-night food only being served on the weekends.

3. Nomad World Pub

A tin-ceilinged tavern on Brady street. Nomad World Pub is a well-known place to watch soccer. It has limited seating, but there is a lot of place to stand inside. Nomad World Pub has two locations; Madison and Brady street with Brady street being the original one. You can enjoy live music here on Wednesdays and karaoke on Tuesdays. With its extensive beer list and the best happy hour, it’s the go-to place for soccer hooligans in Milwaukee. It’s also where you can meet many international travelers and people from neighboring states.

4. The Outsider

A swanky rooftop bar at the new Kimpton Journeyman Hotel. The Outsider opened in 2016 and is set nine stories above Historic Third Ward. Through its unique indoor and outdoor spaces, it offers double the fun and an elevated social experience. From backyard barbeques to shuffleboard tournaments, there is always something going on at The Outsider. It’s a place where you’ll never leave without a sip and would want to become an insider really quick.

5. Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge

A stylish lounge with a hipster vibe. Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge opened in 1938 and is the oldest cocktail lounge in Milwaukee. They serve depression-era vintage and creative cocktails to make you feel the history. It’s a dimly lit lounge that makes you feel cozy. Their bartenders are friendly and unpretentious, so tell them what you normally like and they’ll help you in making a selection. Their exotic lighting, plush velvet walls, and gold-plated cash registers make Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge one of the finest lounges in the Midwest.

6. Swingin’ Door Exchange

A historic pub located in one of Milwaukee’s most majestic venues, the Grain Exchange Room. With its old-school saloon-like western décor, it’s a place that lets you step back in time. Swingin’ Door Exchange has the same old-world charm like the old Milwaukee photos. They feature a full menu of classic American pub grub alongside a great selection of wine and spirits.

7. SafeHouse

A spy-themed hideaway for on-the-run agents and spying enthusiasts. SafeHouse features creative cocktails and casual fare for all hungry spies ready for a mission. Its walls are filled with spy memorabilia to attract the espionage enthusiasts. SafeHouse is family-friendly before 8 PM and has a special menu for the junior spies. It’s a place where you even have to whisper a password to get in.

8. Who’s on Third

A sports bar to watch your favorite events. Who’s on Third features a 120” projection screen for a great view of the game. It’s an official Milwaukee Bucks Bar that was featured as one of the best sports bars in America by the Business Insider. Who’s on Third serves the best wings and cheese curds in addition to great craft beers and weekend brunch. You can also ride their free shuttle bus to Summerfest or the Brewers Game.

9. Foundation

A true tiki bar in Milwaukee with a playful vibe. Foundation features a great menu of traditional and modern tropical drinks. It’s an authentic tiki bar which started off as a punk bar in 2004. Leaving the punk roots behind, now it’s a punk-free tiki bar. It’s definitely a great place to be in Milwaukee where winters last five grueling months.

10. Old German Beer Hall

A long and narrow local hall modeled on Munich’s Hofbrauhaus. Old German Beer Hall serves beer imported from the Munich Hofbrauhaus. This German-themed place lets your experience the Bavarian life right in Milwaukee. They have great beer and reasonable prices; furthermore, it’s located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee.

11. Camp Bar Third Ward

A bar that brought the charm of Northwood to Milwaukee. The look of the Camp bar is inspired by the owners Paul and Natalia Hackbarth. Camp Bar opened in 2016 and has been voted as one of the top 5 new bars in America by the Details Magazine. The Milwaukee Magazine also called them the best new bar in Milwaukee. Camp Bar is a dog-friendly place, so be sure to bring your dog if you have one. Overall, it’s a good place to grab a drink while listening to country music.

12. Burnhearts

A neighborhood bar for beer nerds that never disappoints. Burnhearts is a hipster, dark and deeply secluded bay view bar that welcomes everyone with open arms. It serves clever cocktails and craft beer on tap all of which is very affordable. You can also enjoy this eclectic, cozy and fun place with a game of pool or shuffleboard.