Old Sugar Distillery, Madison, WI

About a month in on the new town, almost the end of summer-ish - time for a stiff cocktail in the afternoon. 

I headed out by bike to Old Sugar Distillery just west of the Capitol. It's a pretty cool spot - kind of classic brewery/distillery set-up with tables outside in summer and more tables inside. Then you add in some shiny distilling stills, a reclaimed wood bar, extra picnic tables, aging barrels, and voila! Distillery. 

They seem to take their spirits seriously, 
as do I! Well, maybe not so much me.

They have an extensive, well-laid out menu of their cocktails, along with a description of each spirit they distill. 

They had some great looking cocktails and stronger drinks too. I settled on a Gringo. It promised horchata, honey liqueur, spices and a kicker of a Snickers ice cream bar - yes, please!

I'd show a picture of mine, but not only did I neglect to snap one, it would pretty much just look like a glass of milk with ice. Not too exciting. It was pretty fun to see most of the cocktails as they came out with each patron. There is plenty to try on subsequent visits. 

What also impressed me was the full run of items on the menu. Both in terms of drinks, two pages worth, and their available bottles to take home (two sizes), merchandise, and even gift ideas. 

For those eagle-eye or more curious readers, you may also notice their distillery name and one of their liqueurs harkens back to another Madison landmark, know as the Old Sugar Factory in the early 1900's, or more recently as the Garver Feed Mill. This building, as it happens, was on my bike route to the distillery and seems to be up for a rehab project that will turn its large space into a community food space for bakers, brewers and the like. It is in rough shape right now, someone has a big project ahead of themselves. 

At its inception, it produced beet sugar from farmers in a 100 mile radius. Most recently, it was a feed mill producing food for livestock animals. Fun. 

Not only do I look forward to more strong drinks at Old Sugar Distillery as the summer turns to fall, but I also look forward to seeing what happens at the namesake factory. 


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