Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Ivee’s

Day 346, Cocktails 353 & 354

If there’s one disadvantage to heading to my local hangout, Ivee’s on Main, for my 50th birthday it was that most of the guys there know me.  So when the offered to set me up with a stripper, I should have run, and run fast.  Crap, they couldn’t even come up with an ugly girl, instead settling for an ugly cross dresser.  I guess they figured after the shooters that I had been plied with I wouldn’t notice the difference.  But I did…

As for those shooters, two that I had were new and worthy of reporting here.  The first was an Ivee’s staple, the Cherry Bomb.  Very simple, really.

  Cherry Bomb

  • 1 oz Dr. Macgillicuddy’s Cherry Schnapps
  • 1 oz Red Bull

Mix them together in a shooter glass and down the hatch!

This is actually not too bad a shooter.  It is very sweet and picks up the unique Red Bull taste.  And it goes down very easy!

The second shooter I had that night worth mentioning is the Lunchbox


  • 1 oz beer
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz amaretto

Mix the beer and orange juice in a rocks glass.  Pour the amaretto into a shot glass.  Drop the shot glass with the amaretto into the rocks glass and then drink it down.

While the mix of ingredients sounds relatively gross, the combination works well.  The sweet orange juice and nutty amaretto combine nicely and the beer gives it a bit more bite.  And it’s not quite as deadly as an Irish Car Bomb (which was also consumed that night!)

So there you go, two shooters to celebrate your next birthday with!


Day 343, Cocktails 348, 349 & 350

Monday evening found me at Ivee’s On Main to watch the NCAA basketball final.  While the game may have been lackluster, the cocktails were not!  Recently Colleen Graham had posted the Fancy Whiskey in her cocktail blog.  I thought it looked like a pretty good drink.  Plus, it easily lent itself to doing a multiple versions and some serious tasting comparisons based on the type of whiskey used.  So, in the name of science and to be able to give you a complete report I embarked on a fancy whiskey journey.

First, the Fancy Whiskey recipe is:

  Fancy Whiskey

  • 2 oz whiskey(of your choice)
  • 1 oz bar syrup
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • dash Agnostura bitters

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to combine and blend.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

So, the recipe is pretty straightforward.  Let’s see how things worked out as I tried different whiskies.  The first was made with Maker’s Mark bourbon.  It was good, with the flavor reminiscent of a Manhattan, except orange flavored.  While 1 oz of bar syrup sounds like a lot, it did not overly sweeten the drink.  The use of triple sec helped with this cause since it is not as sweet as Cointreau is.  The bitters also help to keep the sweetness in line.  All in all, a good drink.

For the second variant I moved to Scotch and had Davey make it with Dewar’s.  It was very similar in taste to the Maker’s Mark version with a smokey peat element from the Scotch.  Depending on your specific taste you could amp up the smokey component of this drink by using a stronger single malt such as Laphroaig.  Again, a very good cocktail that I wouldn’t hesitate to order or make in the future.

Finally, for version three I switched to Canadian whiskey, Canadian Club to be specific.  This version was the least memorable of the bunch, probably owing to Canadian whiskey’s mellow character, particularly when compared to bourbon and Scotch.  It was a good cocktail, but didn’t have the heft that the first two versions had.  Think of this as the Fancy Whiskey lite!

All in all, three good cocktails.  Maybe those boys from Butler should have tried one of these, it couldn’t have hurt there shooting!


Day 265, Cocktails 265 & 266

There’s a port on a western bay
And it serves a hundred ships a day
Lonely sailors pass the time away
And talk about their homes

And there’s a girl in this harbor town
And she works layin’ whiskey down
They say “Brandy, fetch another round”
She serves them whiskey and wine

The sailors say “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“Yeah your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea”
(dooda-dit-dooda), (dit-dooda-dit-dooda-dit)

This 70’s classic by Looking Glass seems as good a way as any to introduce a week of Wisconsin’s favorite, brandy.  More brandy is consumed (by far) in Wisconsin than any other state (40% of Korbel’s total output of brandy ends up here), but the bar at the hotel where one of my friends stayed did run out of brandy, along with Miller Lite.)  So with winter in full swing and several bottles of brandy in the Twilight Lounge liquor cabinet it seemed like a good time to explore this Wisconsin favorite.

  Saratoga Cocktail

  • 2oz brandy
  • 1/2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/8 oz lemon juice
  • 1/8 oz maraschino liqueur
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a cherry.

I amped the pineapple up from 1/4 oz to 1/2 oz after making my first one.  The pineapple just seemed lost without the extra 1/4 oz.  My modified drink was good with a very complex and layered flavor profile.  The brandy, maraschino and pineapple all blend harmoniously.  Towards the end it did start to get a little syrupy sweet the way some drinks with pineapple can get, but overall I thought this was a winner.  By the way, for those of you keeping score at home I used Korbel brandy and Luxardo maraschino liqueur.

The Saratoga on the left and Pisco Punch on the right.

For my next brandy drink I decided on the Pisco Punch.  Pisco is an acquired taste.  It is a brandy distilled from white muscat grapes and has a sharp flavor to it, somewhat similar to kirschwasser.  So why choose it?  Well, I had a bottle left over from New Year’s Eve courtesy of Christian and Meredith and had some pineapple juice left from the Saratoga.

  Pisco Punch

  • 2 oz Pisco brandy
  • 1/2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angosturo bitters

Combine all the ingredients with 1/2 cup of cracked ice in a blender.  Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled wine glass.  Garnish with a cherry or lime slice.

I had to let this one grow on me.  This drink, although it looks frilly, is not.  Between the pisco and the bitters it is a sour son of a gun.  As I expected, it was a complete no go for Gwen.

Well, that’s it for today.  Off to watch the Packers with all my brandy swillin’ friends at Ivee’s!



Days 262 & 263, Cocktails 261 & 262

This post features a couple of Toms that I became acquainted with over the last two of days.

On Wednesday I tried something called the Tom Johnson Cocktail at the Twilight Lounge.

  Tom Johnson Cocktail

  • 1 oz Scotch
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice, and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.

This drink is another one of those ones that when I looked at the ingredient list I thought “you’ve got to be kidding me!” … except this time I was right.  The flavor profile initially was lime with the vermouth and then scotch following it.  As I sipped on this drink the lime was always there, giving it a distinct margarita feel.  The scotch was barely present, which in my book is a waste of scotch!

Thursday night was, as usual, trivia night at Ivee’s.  My cocktail for the evening was the Tom Moore.

  Tom Moore Cocktail

  • 1-3/4 oz Irish whiskey
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice, and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Essentially this is a Manhattan made with Irish whiskey, and I enjoyed it.  In the future I’d probably cut the vermouth down to 1/2 oz, but since I enjoy sweet vermouth with my whiskey it wasn’t a problem.  The bitters add just the right touch of spice to this cocktail.

So there you have it, a tale of two Toms.


Day 256, Cocktail 255

About this time of year, as the reality of January sets in, I can’t help but think how much nicer it would be to be in Florida for the next couple of months.  I mean, what’s better than getting the bikini on while still on the train as it thunders south?  So after a quick search online I came up with Thursday’s cocktail, which  was enjoyed at Ivee’s while I was playing trivia.  Davey did a great job of mixing this one up for me while I defended my status as the trivia guru.  One sip and I felt warm all over (and a bit smarter as well).

  Florida Special

  • 1-1/2 oz white rum
  • 3/4 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/4 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz sweet vermouth

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker and shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

A very nice, well balanced cocktail.  The dry vermouth cuts the natural sweetness of the pineapple juice, keeping this drink from becoming syrupy and overly sweet, especially if you are going to have more than one.  The rum is there, as is the sweet vermouth, providing a multi-layered flavor effect.  I definately had Florida’s beaches in mind as I sipped this during the evening.


Day 228, Cocktail 226

One of my first and most famous cocktails was on the agenda Thursday night, all by happenstance.  This cocktail was originally invented two years ago for the Christmas holidays and made its debut at the NID Christmas cocktail party.  Andrea, in particular, enjoyed this cocktail so much that we had to change the name from the Sleigh Ride to the Sleigh Wreck.  According to Andrea, “Too many of these and you’ll be dancing like an elf with a tablecloth on your head! hahahaha Wrecked me for the whole next day!!!”

So Thursday I stopped by the Klavier for a quick cocktail and Chris Peters, the owner, was there.  She offered up a Sleigh Wreck to celebrate it hitting the menu there.  Woo hoo, the big time now, on a lounge menu!  Later that night I was at Ivee’s for my usual Beat Stan at Trivia night and again was offered a Sleigh Wreck by Davey.  Twice in one night!

So, with out further adieu, The Sleigh Wreck:

  Sleigh Wreck

  • 1-1/2 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1/2 oz Chambord
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 2 oz cranberry juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a large cocktail glass (I use my 6 oz glass) and garnish with 3-4 fresh cranberries.

This is a sure fire winner with a slight rasberry flavor from the Chambord.  Not too sweet, and not too boozy, too many of these and you’ll be wrecking your sleigh, so be careful!


Day 217, Cocktail 215

Ugh, these guys are gonna’ be the death of me!  I went to Ivee’s, as usual, for the Browns game on Sunday.  What made it different, and a lot more fun, was that Cookie was with me, there to cheer his Steelers on.  We were both feeling pretty good when our teams jumped out to big leads then nearly had heart attacks as the Browns won when the Panthers missed a field goal as time expired and the Steelers won in OT as a Bills reciever dropped a game winning TD pass.  Whew!

To celebrate the twin victories Cookie ordered up a variant of the classic vodka cranberry that I’d never had.  He had a splash of sour mix added to the drink – and I liked it.  The sour cut the sweetness of the cranberry just a bit and made it a very enjoyable cocktail.  Thanks Cookie!


Day 200, Cocktail 195

Buck week continued Thursday night at Ivee’s.  I had come up with a cocktail that continued my buck theme that I figured Davey would have all the ingredients available.  It sounded like a good idea when I thought of it…

  Monterrey Buck

  • 1 oz tequila
  • 2 dashes Agnosturo bitters
  • lime wedge
  • ginger ale

Fill a collins glass with ice and add the squeeze the lime wedge over the ice.  Add the tequila and bitters and top with the ginger ale. 

This is a twist on the Monterrey Mule and after my experience adding bitters to my classic bourbon and coke in the Bourbon Buck, I figured this would be a tasty cocktail.  I still think it would be, except I didn’t get to taste it in all its glory.  It turns out that Davey did not have ginger ale as I figured he would.  He offered to make me “bar” ginger ale.  I said sure before I asked what is “bar” ginger ale.  Just what is “bar” ginger ale?  3/4 cola and 1/4 lemon lime soda…uh, sure, you can call it “bar” ginger ale, but it sure didn’t taste like ginger ale.  **Sigh** 

I ended up switching to gin and tonics for the balance of my night of Beat Stan at trivia, with no apparent ill effect.  At least something worked out!


Day 186, Cocktail 183

Thursday night found me at Ivee’s for Beat Stan at Trivia night (among other things).  Yes, I did lose, once.  I also won five or six times during the night, so I think Idid alright.  Normally I would sip on a Manhattan made with Maker’s Mark or maybe a gin and tonic, but since I’m in the midst of Halloween week I needed something appropriate.  I checked with Davey Iverson, the Thursday night bartender, to see if he had Black Cherry flavored vodka.  I was in luck, he did.  So, my cocktail of the evening was Dracula’s Kiss.  Just like Dracula, it’s sweet at first, but if you have enough you’ll find yourself asleep!

  Dracula’s Kiss

  • 1 oz Black Cherry flavored vodka
  • 1/2 oz grenadine
  • cola

Pour the grenadine into a rocks glass and give it a good swirl to coat the glass.  Fill the glass with ice, add the vodka and then top with cola.  Give a quick stir and garnish with a cherry.

The black cherry and grenadine blend very nicely with the cola to make this very much like cherry coke, just not quite as sweet.  I enjoyed it and it is a great Halloween cocktail for your friends that don’t like boozy drinks.


Day 173, Cocktail 167

Thursday night is not only Trivia Night at my local hangout, Ivee’s, it’s also beat Stan at Trivia night.  Anyone who can beat me gets a free drink.  Last week I won 10 of the 13 rounds, so I cost the bar 3 drinks.  Not bad, since there were seven or eight people trying to knock me off!

Of course, for me the best part of Beat Stan at Trivia Night is that I get to have my cocktails on the house as well.  This past Thursday I had a slimmed down variant to my Smokey Vesper.  I’ll call it the Vesper Lite.

  Vesper Lite

  • 3 oz Beefeaters Gin
  • 1/4 oz Dewar’s scotch

Combine the gin and scotch in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a twist. 

A nice, straightforward version of the Smokey Vesper and it wen great with the disco lights flashing in an attempt to knock me off my game.  Fortunately, it didn’t work!  See you at Ivee’s next Thursday!