Sometimes you don’t want a beer, and a glass of wine isn’t doing it for you, but a perfectly crafted cocktail would certainly hit the spot. Gone are the days of a watered-down Jack and Coke, or a sugar-rush margarita; craft cocktails are the future and we know where to find the best of the best right here in Oshkosh.
Ask any local for a good cocktail and they will point you straight to Bar 430. They boast a robust drink menu with seasonal ingredients and creative twists. Lots of their cocktails have fruit forward ingredients that make the drinks a little sweet, yet they are never sugary or over-sweetened.
- The Hawaiian Mimosa will make you feel like you’re on an island. A glass of champagne is topped off with pineapple juice, cherry, orange, and a splash of coconut rum. You can find a wide variety of brunch cocktails to elevate your brunch experience.
- Out of all the mojitos, margaritas, mules, and libations on the menu, our favorite has to be the Resting Beach Face. Not only is it a fun drink to order, but it is absolutely delicious. Absolut Lime Vodka, Luxardo liqueur, and orange liqueur are mixed with pear nectar, a little splash of grenadine and finished with fresh mint. Strong, a touch sweet, and perfectly balanced.
The Howard doesn’t just look like a place that knows how to mix good drinks, they really know how to craft a perfect cocktail. The Cafe is a perfect place for your morning pick-me-up, but the Lanes at the Howard is where you will find a 1920’s speakeasy vibe including unique (and strong) drinks. This isn’t your average bowling alley and your time there certainly won’t be average with their upscale drinks.
- Curious Elixirs are quite the commotion at The Howard. Their Elixirs do not include brands of alcohol or specific ingredients, but instead, describe the flavors and experiences of drinking. You can find bright and spicy Elixers with hints of ginger and pineapple or bold and bitter Elixers with herbaceous deep tones.
Gardina’s is often known for its inventive small plates, unique and cozy setting, and growing popularity, but one of the best qualities about them is the amazing craft cocktail list. They take pride in mixing all of their drinks with fresh ingredients and homemade syrups. A perfect date night wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Gardina’s for drinks and desserts after dinner.
- The Thyme of Death is an herbaceous cocktail that is refreshing and full of flavor without the calories of most drinks. Death’s Door gin out of Madison, WI is mixed with Italicus bergamot-liqueur, a touch of house-made honey-thyme simple syrup, a splash of soda water, and garnished with a spring of thyme and an orange wedge. Floral, effervescent, and the perfect refresher.
- Gardina’s Kitchen is the place to go if you like your Bourbon Neat. On the other side of their craft cocktail menu, you will find the most extensive list of bourbon and rye outside of Kentucky, as well as sipping rum, and scotch.
The Chalice has been an essential spot in Oshkosh for almost 30 years. Over all that time, the bartenders have been working hard to craft the perfect cocktails: not too sweet, perfectly blended flavors, and experimenting with modern twists on classic drinks. This restaurant has one of the most aesthetic bars in town so head on in for a drink and relax.
- Finding a good Old Fashioned is difficult. Finding a perfect Old Fashioned is absolutely impossible. Or so we thought! That was before heading into The Chalice and ordering their absolutely incredible Old Fashioned. Classically made with scotch, a sugar cube, a maraschino cherry, and an orange slice.
This gastropub on the south side of town is a neighborhood favorite. You’ll find people here year-round dining on juicy burgers and sharing appetizers. They also serve a mean brunch and people will flock for their food and bloody mary bar.
- Bottomless Mimosas can be found on-site from 9-2 on Saturdays and Sundays during their weekly brunch. To miss the lines, head in for lunch and start your weekend off right!
Centrally located in downtown, Becket’s is quickly rising to one of the most beloved restaurants in Oshkosh. This modern eatery uses locally inspired seasonal ingredients and their menus are always changing which is great because you get an entirely different experience each time you visit.
- Every season, Becket’s changes out their menu which leaves customers both sad for the cocktails no longer served, and stoked for the next round. The only cocktail that stays on the list is the Welton Becket Martini. Their signature martini consists of citrus vodka, muddled basil, and fresh cracked pepper on top. If they ever decided to take it off the menu, I’m sure riots would happen.
Head into one of these Oshkosh favorites and not only will you receive a perfectly crafted cocktail, but you’ll feel right at home. It’s just part of our midwestern nature to make everyone who visits feel like a long lost friend. So sit down, grab a drink, and get ready to make some memories.
Planning a trip of Oshkosh, WI? Book a stay at the lovely Brayton Bed & Breakfast, where modern luxury meets historic style.