The Old Sugar Distillery produces small-batch liquors made from Midwestern ingredients. Its cornerstone concoction, the Old Sugar Factory Honey Liqueur, is distilled from dark-brown beet sugar and then aged in a wooden womb of American oak before being subtly sweetened with pure Wisconsin honey. The Cane and Abe Freshwater Rum, named in honor of President Lincoln and his favorite criminal-scaring stick, is made with cane sugar lovingly beamed up from the saccharine states of Hawaii and Louisiana and then aged in charred American oak barrels. These luscious liquids can be sampled either by sipping a freshly made cocktail ($6) at the distillery's long wooden bar, or by buying a bottle ($30) for midnight sips in the dead chill of winter. The Old Sugar Distillery also offers free tours and tastings with up-close views of the large copper pot still.
Flatlander's pampers malt-pining palates by balancing a seasonal lineup of more than seven house-made brews with a diverse menu ranging from classic pub fare to gourmet entrees. Beer flights guide diners through five distillations and the on-site brewmaster ensures appetizers highlight each brews best qualities, matching seared asian ahi to the crispness of the Jackson Wit and spicy jumbo wings to the Flatlander IPA's training as a firefighter. Thick cuts of homestyle meatloaf and crispy morsels of fish and chips embody the roles of classic pub fare, subtly supported by gourmet-inspired castmates such as linguine pomodoro and USDA-prime center-cut filet mignon. An arsenal of 13 hearty burgers accessorized with toppings such as pulled pork, guacamole, or fried onions gratify any diet while bookended around a choice of USDA-prime chuck, ground turkey, veggie, or peppermint patties.
Naturally, the chefs at Cooper’s Hawk have a sharp eye when it comes to wine pairings. Each of the restaurant’s contemporary dishes is crafted with a particular wine in mind, which makes plenty of sense given the fact that there’s a winery located just next door. Surrounded by oaken barrels and racks lined with glistening bottles, diners may be forgiven for thinking that they made a wrong turn and ended up in the winery itself. After your meal, see the real thing in the Napa–style tasting room, where you can sample up to eight different wines. The selection includes something for everyone, including graceful blush wines and cabernets whose flavors unfold like a novel scribbled on the wings of an origami crane.
More than 50 wines at Wine Maniacs on the River stand at attention to be served by the glass or bottle. The bistro updates its food menu quarterly with dishes that celebrate the seasons and complement its complex varietals, using gourmet ingredients such as Wisconsin artisan cheeses. Small plates make creative use of such ingredients, with options that may include calamari spaghetti or duck-confit tacos ornamented, like a scarecrow's frankfurter, with corn relish.
Nice weather draws diners outdoors onto the patio overlooking the Milwaukee River, where they can sip while admiring the Water Street Bridge and views of the city from the 5th Ward. Guests can also stock up on their favorite elixirs at the establishment's retail shop, which sells wines by the case.
(Not included with this Groupon)
All of the hours spent at Milford Hills' shooting lanes and sporting-clays courses pay off as soon as you venture out onto the members-only hunting grounds. Five-hundred acres encompass forests, open fields, and water. Here, guides and dogs lead members through 12 fields, where the skies and trees brim with game birds including quail, ducks, and pheasants. It's not just hunters who can appreciate this setting, however. Milford Hills also plays host to corporate events and weddings, and an onsite pub serves a unique Friday fish fry.