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Entries in Milwaukee (4)


Foundation Tiki Bar Unveils A New Menu

The Jet Pilot


Last night, Foundation Tiki Bar in Milwaukee, unveiled their new cocktail menu.  The menu went through a complete transformation. In fact, the only drink that remains from the old menu is the volcano bowl.  Everything else on the menu is new or updated.  There is a great selection of classic tiki cocktails from the 30s all the way through to modern tiki favorites.  I'm getting thirsty just thinking about all the new libations!

With over two dozen drinks on the menu I was excited to get started.  My first selection was a Jet Pilot.  This new addition to the menu really hit the spot, and helped me to quickly forget how cold this spring has been.  This refreshing cocktail had great blend of rum, spices, and citrus.  Unlike, your standard, run of the mill cocktail; a good tiki cocktail has a great amount of depth and offers a bouquet of flavors in every sip.  The Jet Pilot at Foundation fits this definition perfectly, and sent my taste buds to paradise.

Next up was a Piranha.  Our bartender, Michael, told us that this drink made the menu by popular demand.  It started out as one of their specials, and after it came of the list customers kept asking for it.  So piranha fans your drink is now a standard on the menu.  After one sip I could tell why this was a popular request.  The blend of rum, ginger beer, and citrus was great.  The spicy sweet flavor of ginger beer blends really nice with rum and citrus.  

Third, I tried another new menu item, The Port Light.  Foundation's version of this Kahiki classic is similar to the original.  It has Bourbon, pomegranate, passion fruit, and lemon flavors. The combination of passion fruit, pomegranate, and bourbon was new to me and it was spectacular.  The passion fruit give a nice touch of sweetness, and the pomegranate give a touch of sour.  The bourbon rounded the drink out nicely with an oaky flavor.  It was the perfect combination.  This smooth drink is a symphony for your taste buds that goes down very easy.

While we sampled the new menu, our bartenders Michael and Ron were regaling us with tales of rum and tiki bar adventures.   They both had a lot of great rum knowledge.  I immediately felt right at home in the friendly atmosphere.

Monday night is a great night to visit Foundation if you want a nice crowd that is there to chill out and unwind.  They had a great set of exotica playing all night long.  Other nights, and espeically the weekends, there is a bigger crowd with more of a upbeat attitude.  Foundation is Milwaukee's only authentic tiki bar, and claims to be the home of Milwaukee's best Mai Tai.  I have personally sampled Mai Tais at a number of different places in Milwaukee, and hands down, Foundation makes the best Mai Tai around.




Saturday: Dueling Surf Show

This Saturday, March 5th, at 9:00 PM two surf bands will take the stage in Milwaukee at Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall.  It will be The Cocktail Preachers Vs. The Revomatics.  The bands will be playing alternating sets in a dueling surf show.  Your's truely, Damon @ Let's Tiki, will be there so stop by, listen to some surf music and say hi!



At Random: Classic Cocktails in a Retro Setting

At Random, Milwaukee, WIAt Random is a classic cocktail bar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that has been in operation since 1965.  Noting has changed since the renovations that converted the corner tap into a romantic cocktail lounge.  

The decor is a fun snapshot of the late 1960s.  You have to check out the vintage electric fireplaces.  There are plenty of little booths for a romantic night out.  Just watch out for the clown pictures.  They can be a bit creepy.  Overall, the place is very warm and inviting.

At Random serves a long list of classic cocktails.  As usual, I started with a Mai Tai.  When I got the drink  I was surprised at how big it was.  It was deliciously sweet, and tropical.  

For my next drink I had a fog cutter. I really enjoyed the Fog Cutter.  The spices really stood out in this drink.  It was very unique and unlike anything I have had before.  

At Random's signature drink is the Tiki Love Bowl. The Tiki Love Bowl is a secret concoction of rums and fruit juices that is lit on fire.  The tradition is for the couple to hold hands while drinking the Tiki Love Bowl.  Your cocktail waitress will make sure that the tradition is upheld.  Our bartender Randy was kind enough to pour us a sample of the Tiki Love Bowl. 

Mai TaiBesides Tiki Cocktails they also serve a varity of blended and ice cream drinks.  When was the last time you had a Brandy Alexander?  The snickers bar drink tastes exactly like a snickers bar.  

I was there on a Wednesday night and there was a fair crowd considering the amount of snow that got dumped on Milwaukee a few days prior. I'm told that on Friday and Saturday nights the place is packed.  

After 45 years the owners are still very active.   You can find them tending bar and waiting tables.  I had a great time taking a step back into a bygone time, and having some classic cocktails.  I can't wait to get back and sample more of the menu.



How to Make a Milwaukee Mai Tai

What is a Milwaukee Mai Tai you may ask?  Well, it is a Mai Tai made with Milwaukee's own Roaring Dan's Rum. Roaring Dan's rum is made by The Great Lakes Distillery in Milwaukee, WI. They have only been around for a few years, but their award winning Vodka and Gin have become very popular through out the Midwest.

Roaring Dan's Rum, which was released in June, is distilled with pure Wisconsin Maple Syrup giving it an excellent maple flavor.  The maple goes really well with the oak and bourbon barrels that it was aged in.  It also has a hint of caramel.  

The rum is named after  Roaring Dan Seavey.  The only man to have ever been charged with piracy on the great lakes.  What would a rum be without a pirate?  As the story goes, Roaring Dan stole a ship on Lake Michigan and a government revenue ship was sent to capture him. One warning shot from the cannon was all it took for him to surrender.  He was then transported to Chicago to face charges.  Mysteriously, those charges were dropped.  

To make a Milwaukee Mai Tai fill your cocktail shaker with:


  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 2 oz Roaring Dan's Rum
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat syrup

Shake well, until the outside of the shaker is frosted.  Pour unstrained into a cocktail glass. The Milwaukee Mai Tai is quite delicious.  The oaky maple rum goes well with the Cointreau and lime juice.  The Orgeat syrup adds a nice touch of sweetness.

If you are ever in the Milwaukee area I would encourage you to stop by The Great Lakes Distillery.  They give tours and for only a couple bucks you can sample their wide variety of products.  It's always a great time.