Madison: A Bar Crawl Through the Capital

The Cooper’s Tavern


I find one of the best ways to get to know a city and its neighborhoods is to explore the bars. We had a bar crawl around Madison, the capital of Wisconsin. And around the Capitol were many fine imbibing establishments– politicians and students (as Madison is also a college town) make good drinking buddies. We started our night at The Cooper’s Tavern which is described as a modern Irish bar.

I had a dram of Green Spot while taking in the atmosphere. I was trying to keep to a one and done rule so sadly I didn’t get to try the cocktails.

The Cooper’s Tavern

20 W Mifflin St., Madison, WI 53703  —  (608) 256-1600

Drinks at Boar and Barrel


Not far from Cooper’s Tavern is Boar and Barrel,

Now this is my kind of place. There were a lot of cool whiskeys and the drinks list had a lot of intriguing things. I tried the Boared to Death while a friend had the Feathered Serpent. I picked the Boarded to the Death because we had just gone to Wisconsin Brewing Company and I tasted their Refresh Radler.

We really enjoyed both drinks but I like the conversation with our bartender best. He made some recommendations for other spots around town that I’ll have to get to if I’m in Madison again.

Feathered Serpent – Wild Turkey bourbon, absinthe rinse, egg white, simple syrup, lemon

Boared to Death – Big gin, amaro, dry vermouth, simple syrup, lemon, Refresh Radler


Boar and Barrel

101 N Hamilton St., Madison, WI 53703  —  (608) 285-5651


Sazarac at AC Hotel


When we were at Dancing Goat Distillery, we got a recommendation to check out the Sazarac made with Limousin Rye from Dancing Goat at the AC Hotel. It also has another Wisconsin distillery product, the absinthe from Wollersheim.

We had a great time at the lobby bar but apparently the spot to be is the rooftop of this hotel. But as I said, I enjoyed the lobby bar and lots of folks at the bar also ordered snacks from the bartender. It was the first time I had seen pasta prepared at a bar so kudos to him! Five stars to culinary and bartending skills!


Lobby Bar at AC Hotel by Sheraton

One North Webster St., Madison, WI 53703  —  (608) 286-1337
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Thanks to Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau for the opportunity to check out Madison!