This post was originally published on January 20, 2016.
The Lobby Lounge at the Pfister Hotel is just what the name entails– a lobby lounge at one of the oldest and classiest hotels in Milwaukee. The Pfister Hotel opened its doors in 1893 and was called the “Grand Hotel of the West” due to its lavishness and upscale decor. Once inside after walking through large polished wood doors, you are taken back to another time period. The lobby area is filled with Victorian-era art and architecture. We were lucky enough to be there during the holiday season when a large Christmas tree adorned the lobby. Adjacent to the open lobby area is the Lobby Lounge, which is a place to have cocktails and bites to eat. The Lobby Lounge is filled with comfortable armchairs, wooden tables, and a baby grand piano– all sunken into dim lighting tones which bring about a luxurious feeling.
The Lobby Lounge was our second spot on the Milwaukee Bloody Mary Tour because I had read that a lady named Valerie at the Pfister Hotel has been perfecting her Bloody Mary recipe for over 30 years… I haven’t even been alive that long! A Bloody mix older than me sounded very enticing. And let me tell you– the Lobby Lounge at the Pfister Hotel’s Bloody Mary is no joke. I could drink one every day, which is hard to say about most Bloody Marys. This delicious cocktail full of veggies is highly recommended. You can check out the full review below (side note: this is the only Bloody Mary I have ever rated 100/100–it deserves the perfect rating).
AT A GLANCE 20/20
The Lobby Lounge’s Bloody Mary was beautiful when I first saw it. Classy, unique, and served with a side of your choice of beer! I chose Spotted Cow by New Glarus, as it is my favorite beer from Wisconsin. Since Spotted Cow is only sold in Wisconsin, I was pretty happy to get my taste for the year. The Bloody was a lighter red and many spices could be seen dispersed throughout the cocktail. The garnish consisted of an array of ingredients– marinated shrimp, summer sausage, a cheese cube (cheddar I believe), celery, lemon slice, bleu cheese stuffed olive, pickle, carrot, Brussels sprout, pickled asparagus, and a regular olive. Talk about abundance!
Wow.. Just wow. The garnish on this Bloody was on point. Again, the Lobby Lounge’s Bloody was garnished with the classic Wisconsin garnish ingredients that I saw at most stops in Milwaukee (cheese, summer sausage, and shrimp). The garnish was presented in quite an attractive fashion– the Bloody looked “stuffed” full of ingredients! This created a unique look, while the actual ingredients were unique and plentiful in themselves. My favorite parts of the garnish (besides the three classic Wisco ingredients) were the pickled asparagus, sweet pickled carrot, and stuffed olive.
The Lobby Lounge’s Bloody was sooo tasty and I could tell that it has been perfected over the course of decades. The flavor is the truth and what I seek in a great Bloody Mary. It really had the perfect balance of flavors while not being very spicy in terms of hotness at all– though you could really taste peppery notes! The celery seed was a prevalent flavor, while the tomato freshness shone through as I sipped.
TEXTURE & ACIDITY 20/20
This Bloody was very light but full of flavor– a key point any Bloody Mary connoisseur and mixologist should take away when crafting their own Bloody mix. It was not acidic at all and was quite refreshing.
The Lobby Lounge’s Bloody was unique because it’s practically a tradition. The Bloody Mary’s 30 year old story can be felt throughout each deep and refreshing sip. The garnish ingredients were both creative and aesthetically pleasing when arranged in the cocktail glass. The Bloody reminded me of a veggie cocktail with a plentiful serving of actual veggies on the side 😉 The Spotted Cow sidecar made things even better, as each sip of the Bloody was followed by a crisp sip of pale ale.
FINAL SCORE 100/100
I highly recommend you head to the Lobby Lounge at the Pfister Hotel for the best Bloody Mary you may ever have in this lifetime. The Pfister Hotel is located at:
424 East Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI, 53202