The nation is reeling with the news that Prince – the musician who pioneered the Minneapolis sound, effectively changing the way the world viewed funk – has passed.
The city is teeming with tributes. Radio stations are playing the full catalog of Prince songs. The Vanguard in Bay View is hosting a video tribute at 9 p.m. And at least one local cocktail spot is dedicating its menu to His Purple Highness.
"I left my house this morning just like it was a normal day," says Brandon Reyes, longtime Prince fan and bartender at Dock18 Cocktail Lab. "Meanwhile, my girlfriend texted me and told me the news. And then I heard it on the radio. And I was like aww, sh*t, if they play 'Purple Rain' right now, I’m going to ball my eyes out."
By the time Reyes got to work, he and colleague Cameron McKenzie had made the decision to dedicate the weekend cocktail menu to Prince and the legacy he’s created.
"We’d been talking about doing a Prince themed menu, likely for his birthday in June," notes Reyes. "But, it was a complete coincidence that we just developed a violet liqueur with organic violets from Garden of Eaton near Manitowoc. It's the perfect tribute, since it offers at least one of the cocktails a subtle purple hue."
But, it’s not just the color of the cocktails that aims to conjure fond memories of the musician and his work. The team also worked to find apt names for each of the weekend’s offerings.
"It was natural to dedicate them to some of Prince’s most memorable tunes," says McKenzie. "Cocktails begin with memories, experiences, feelings … and this is really just our small way of paying tribute to an artist who’s influenced music in an indelible way."
Themed cocktails ($9 each) include:
Under the Cherry Moon – a daisy using Twisted Path gin, lime, pineapple vanilla syrup, Bolivar bitters and a violet liqueur that gives the cocktail a subtle purple hue
Sometimes it Snows in April – a long drink featuring Twisted Path dark rum, lemon, old fashioned syrup, Bittercube cherry bark bitters.
Darling Nikki – a sour with Twisted Path white rum, green tea honey syrup and Bittercube Jamaican #2 bitters
Graffiti Bridge – a daisy inspired by "The Last Word" featuring Twisted Path gin, lime, chamomile liqueur, limoncello and Bittercube Trinity bitters
Diamonds and Pearls – egg white sour with vodka, lemon, celery syrup, ginger liqueur, egg white, mint and Bittercube Blackstrap and Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters
Dock18 will serve the menu of Prince cocktails all weekend long. The cocktail lab is open Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 1 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Twisted Path distillery tours are also available on both Saturday and Sunday.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.