Instant Booze Review: Libertine House Manhattan


(Composed on a recent pre-football evening)

THE DRINK: The “House Manhattan.”

THE PLACE: The Libertine in, lord almighty, Green Bay

BACK IN THE BAY? I am. Go Pack go.


TERRIBLE. SO, THE LIBERTINE? Yup. I was going to check out the new Badger State Brewing Company, but there was a Joan Jett concert nearby that sucked up all of the parking options, much like a black hole sucks up all light. So here I am.

HOW IS IT? Far better than you’d expect in the Bay, to be honest. Nice space, fine cocktails, good staff. And I don’t see a single person wearing Packers gear, which is a refreshing change of pace. Wait, strike that. I just spotted a guy in a Clay Matthews jersey. And shorts. And flip flops. And sunglasses. Note that it’s 9:00 pm and 47 degrees. Oh well. it’s still a nice bar.

LET’S GET TO THE DRINK. Yes. It’s Bulleit bourbon, Dolin sweet vermouth, and cocoa bitters, served up. And there’s a maraschino cherry hanging out in there too.

AND IS IT DELICIOUS? Why yes, it is. It’s quite boozy, but not at all painful. It’s just sweet enough, with the cocoa bitters adding a subtle chocolate element. It does not taste like a chocolate-covered cherry, which is a good thing. Very drinkable.

PRETTY FANCY PANTS FOR THE BAY. Yes indeed. Most people here are rolling with it, but there are a few who seem to have a bit of trouble with the craft cocktail concept. I’ve had to listen to the definition of a Moscow Mule at least eight times.

DEEP THOUGHTS: This is a fine establishment with solid cocktails. In addition to the Manhattan, I can also recommend the Vintage (simple syrup, Angostura bitters, lime, rum, orange flower water, and egg white) and the Chinese 5 Spice Dark and Stormy (5 spice-infused Goslings rum, lime, and ginger beer). I could drink here all night. It may not be for everyone, though… the old fellow next to me is mighty befuddled at the lack of Kessler whiskey. “No Kessler’s?” Just couldn’t wrap his head around it.