Saturday, July 1, 2017

July Cocktail of the Month: Flamingo

This month we bring you one of our newest cocktails: the Flamingo!

Sometimes patrons ask us how we come up with many of our signature cocktails. While the histories of many of the older Bryant’s drinks are shrouded in mystery, perhaps forever lost to time and accessed only through mere speculation, we know most of the stories and inspirations behind the newer additions to the Bryant’s “menu.” And they’re all incredibly interesting and diverse. We have drinks inspired by experiences at MIT, ones that are homages to a local rock band’s songs, and ones even named after current and former employees. July’s Cocktail of the Month, the Flamingo, invented by one of our former bartenders, Erik Chandler, is a tequila-based hurricane style drink with grapefruit and orange flavors that initially found its inspiration in its creator’s upbringing in Florida, when he remembers having orange and grapefruit trees in his backyard*.

However, the creation and naming of any cocktail isn’t necessarily that simple. Indeed, a lot of factors ultimately contributed to the Flamingo coming into being. The summer of 2015, when the drink was invented, saw the passing of Don Featherstone, the creator of the plastic pink flamingo lawn ornament, an icon of kitsch that was commonplace in the front yards of Erik’s south Florida neighborhoods. 2015 also saw the return of the flamingo to the Florida Everglades, migrating there en masse in winter for the first time in nearly a century. The flamingo, though, has had a symbolic presence in south Florida for a long time, with a flock residing at the Hialeah Race Track, as well as providing the name for a legendary Miami hotel and a fashionable Miami Beach neighborhood.

Certainly you don’t have to be from Florida to appreciate flamingos; there’s a local connection to these majestic birds as well. Some of you probably remember when over 1000 pink plastic flamingos briefly adorned Bascom Hill on the UW-Madison campus in 1979, a stunt perpetrated by the Pail & Shovel Party who were celebrating their reelection to the student governing body. To honor this prank, Madison made the plastic flamingo its official city bird in 2009!

All this and more are contributing factors in the creation of this drink (we didn’t even get to mention how much we like to hear one of our favorite musical groups—the Flamingos—on our amazing McIntosh stereo). The flamingo is undoubtedly a distinctive bird, and we hope you think, like we do, that’s it’s a pretty distinctive drink too.

Stop in between 5pm and 8pm Sunday through Thursday and get a Flamingo for just $6 all month long.

*Erik would like to thank co-workers Maggie Mendelson and Fada Shelbourne for their constructive criticism and positive feedback while creating this cocktail.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June Cocktail of the Month: Dreamsicle

Summer is beginning, and we're dreaming of ice cream! This month we are featuring the Dreamsicle, a sweet, nutty, and orange ice cream cocktail topped with real whipped cream.  Let us help put you in the mood for bright sunny days and long summer nights!

Just $7 all month during Old Fashioned Cocktail Hour.  Stop in and try one today! 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

May Cocktail of the Month: Satin Moon

A full moon in May is known as a flower moon, signifying the blooming flowers of spring.  To celebrate May, we have selected a satiny smooth champagne cocktail that has flavors of violet, berry, and citrus. 

The Satin Moon features Crème Yvette, a classic liquor that originated in the U.S. in about 1890. The once popular liquor went on hiatus for about fifty years, but recently re-emerged from a producer in France.  The violet flavor lends a subtle complexity to the combination of berries.

Stop in to Bryant’s during the month of May to enjoy a Satin Moon, only $8 during Old Fashioned Cocktail Hour, 5:00- 8:00, Sun-Thurs!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

April Cocktail of the Month: Tradewinds

Spring can be frustrating, with sunny skies one day, rain and wind the next.  Whether rain or shine, let the Tradewinds blow away your cares and transport you to the equator!  

The Tradewinds is a classic tiki cocktail, and like many classics, there are many versions of the recipe.  Some with gin, some with rum, and some with coconut. The Bryant’s Tradewinds is a frozen cocktail that will fill your sails with a blend of rums, tangy and refreshing orange, and sweet pineapple juice.  Perched on top is an umbrella, to protect it from anything spring throws its way.

Stop into Bryant’s for the entire month of April to enjoy the Tradewinds, only $7 during Old Fashioned Cocktail Hour, 5:00 until 8:00, Tuesday through Thursday!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

March Cocktail of the Week: The Mexican Water Lilly

In a few weeks Spring will officially begin, and here at Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge we can’t wait! And to celebrate this season of rebirth, renewal, and the springing forth of beautiful flowers, we’re offering as our March Cocktail of the Month our own beautiful flower: the Mexican Water Lily.

The Mexican Water Lily is one of our oldest drinks here at Bryant’s, and it’s especially representative of a style of cocktail we make called the Depression Era Drink. For those of you who don’t know, these concoctions—of which we have dozens—are recipes that date back to Prohibition times, and were invented to camouflage the illegal liquor being produced during those years. They’re a little sweet, a little sour, come in a wide assortment of fruit flavors, are flash-blended to frothy perfection, and served on the rocks. Oh, and did we mention they’re all delicious? Especially the Mexican Water Lily, one of our tequila-based Depression Era drinks, which features tangy lemon and velvety apricot notes.Perfect sipping for a Spring afternoon!

The Mexican Water Lily takes its name from a beautiful flower that grows in marshes in the Southern United States and in Mexico. It’s sometimes called the Banana Lily due to its long roots that resemble bananas, and it has bright yellow petals (it’s certainly not a coincidence that our Bryant’s Mexican Water Lily is yellow in color). And while these rapidly growing flowers, though pretty, can sometimes be a nuisance for particular waterways and ecosystems, our Mexican Water Lily is always a welcome perennial, and has been for decades at Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge.

Stop in between 5pm and 8pm Sunday through Thursday and consider the Mexican Water Lily for just $5 all month long. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Cocktail of the Month: Strawberry Letter 23

As you are probably aware, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner—and if you’re not, better start working on those gifts and dinner reservations!—and to celebrate one of our favorite holidays here at Bryant’s, we would like to give you a special Valentine’s treat. In addition to featuring our celebrated Valentine’s Day Punch, this February we want you to be our Valentine and offer as our Cocktail of the Month our own “love note,” in a sense: a present to you, the Strawberry Letter 23.

But what makes this drink extra special? The fact that the Strawberry Letter 23 is Bryant’s newest cocktail creation. Co-created by bartender Jeff Kinder and cocktail waitress Jessica Shell, this is a delectable strawberry and chocolate ice cream drink (perfect for sharing!) that’s also a feast for the eyes: you’ll have it served to you in a beautiful chocolate-swirled squall glass. Just remember from time to time to take your eyes off the drink and focus on your companion a little bit.

Jeff and Jess named the drink for the classic song “Strawberry Letter 23,” which was written and first recorded by Shuggie Otis in 1971 but made a huge hit by the Brothers Johnson and Quincy Jones in 1977. The song, about a series of strawberry-scented love letters, offered perfect inspiration for Jeff and Jess, who intended this drink to be a love letter to Bryant’s too. The name harkens back to a time when Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, after a devastating fire, was in the process of recovering its former glory as Milwaukee’s preeminent drink destination, and when, of course, “Strawberry Letter 23” was all over the radio. The song proved to be a major hit. You’ve all made Bryant’s a hit for the past 45 years (and we love you for it!). So, we hope you’ll help our Strawberry Letter 23 become a big hit as well. 

♫ While the music plays, come sit in for a few…ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh. ♫ *

Stop in between 5pm and 8pm Sunday through Thursday and say “Hello, my love” to the Strawberry Letter 23 for just $7 all month long. 

*Our apologies to Shuggie Otis.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

January Cocktail of the Month: The Frosty Lady

Happy New Year! 

Well, Bryant’s friends, we’ve made it to 2017, which means back to work and all of our other normal responsibilities after a few fun-filled and relaxing holidays. This also means the Bryant’s Cocktail of the Month special is back too, and while it was away on its annual vacation in December we hope you all were able to sample our delicious holiday punch and Tom and Jerrys. Time to get back to business as usual (of course, at Bryant’s, it’s always more pleasure than business). It’s a new year! It’s a new month! Thus, it’s a new Cocktail of the Month: the Frosty Lady!

A wise man once said: “Put the lime in the coconut and drink them both together.” And, while we’re not sure that Harry Nilsson’s song served as inspiration for the Frosty Lady, that’s what the inventors of this drink literally did: mixed some lime juice and coconut with a bit of gin to make a delicious cocktail that’s perfect for January (or really any month for that matter). As we all know, Winter can be a cruel mistress, but, despite its name, the Frosty Lady is anything but unfriendly or disdainful (it is, however, cold, though). Just like Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, with its warm, cozy interiors that shield you from the harsh wintry conditions outside, the Frosty Lady’s ice cold glass (one might even call it frosty) houses flavors that will immediately make you think you’re soaking up sun on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean, or, at the least, that you’re snowbirding in one of our nation’s warmer southern states. What can be better than that at this time of year? The Frosty Lady is a delightful companion to help you forget about the hoariness and bitter cold that accompanies every January.

Stop in between 5pm and 8pm Sunday through Thursday and thaw out with the Frosty Lady for just $7 all month long.