Sip on the Valley’s Favorite Cocktails
here are our readers’ picks for the best craft cocktails in the region
According to voters in our most recent Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll, these craft cocktail conquerors make happy hour a whole lot happier.
1. The Great Grampa (The Lakely)
The Great Grampa at The Lakely inside the Oxbow Hotel (516 Galloway St., Eau Claire) is a three-time first-place winner in our poll. Local cocktail enthusiasts love this sweet-yet-mature drink so much that it won in our poll last winter even though The Lakely was closed at the time. (Apparently cocktail-hour memories helped sustain some of us throug hthe worst of the pandemic.) This updated take on the classic Old-Fashioned – perhaps Wisconsin’s all-time most-beloved cocktail – is mixed with Overholt rye, brown sugar lemon, and Angostura bitters, garnished with a lemon peel, and poured atop the largest ice cube you’ve ever seen.
2. Roasted Toasted Almond (Infinity Beverages)
Roasted Toasted Almond from Infinity Beverages (3460 Mall Drive, Eau Claire) gives off good winter fireplace vibes even when served chilled over some ice cubes (although you’re welcome to splash some in your morning coffee, too). Infinity Beverages makes it with real Wisconsin cream, locally roasted coffee, and real almond flavor They’ll mix one up for you at their tasting lounge, or you can buy it pre-mixed in the bottle at select retailers seasonally.
3. Old Fashioned (Dive)
The Old Fashioned at Dive (333 Gibson St., Eau Claire) inside The Lismore Hotel has locals buzzing in more ways than one. Enjoy a pre-Prohibition whiskey-style version of this much-loved drink at the bar or – when weather allows – on the rooftop patio overlooking downtown. An added bonus: Dive was voted the Best Place for Cocktails in the same poll, so you know you’ll be drinking something well-made when you drop in.
Want to vote for your favorite craft cocktail? The 2022 Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll is open at volumeone.org/bestof through Sunday, Dec. 12!