Friday, July 26, 2013

The Libertine

When I first read about The Libertine in an article posted by the Green Bay Gazette, I was excited! I immediately ventured to their Facebook page where they touted, “A craft cocktail bar in Green Bay, WI serving the finest spirits and having the most knowledgeable and hospitable staff.” Finally! A mixology bar that you might find in Vegas in my own backyard. I had high expectations for this place and it has been on my to-do list since; therefore, when I got a chance to convince some friends to stop there before dinner one night that is what we did.

Upon entering the drinking establishment, I immediately noticed the rich mahogany theme throughout the bar. The place was narrow and long, with a bar to match. Several old school games were positioned at the entrance of the bar area, including a bumper pool table. Which I believe just sets the old school mood.

The bartender was finely dressed with a vest and tie. He looked like an expert. I ordered their “Wisco Old Fashioned” sour. He grabbed a tumbler and added a shot of simple syrup, 3 dashes of angostics bitters and an orange slice. He muddled lightly and not very long. He then added 1 shot of Korbel Brandy (measured out) ice, soda and 2 cherries. I was never asked for my garnish preference.


The drink was missing the aromatics that I am obsessed with. The first few tastes were very sweet and continued throughout the drink—it was because of the use of the simple syrup. The simple syrup simply overpowered the brandy, citrus and bitters. The signature Korbel taste was completely lost. I believe this drink was especially a turn-off on such a hot, humid day—as it was so heavy and far from refreshing. And to top it off, one shot of brandy does not do it for an old fashioned. They typically charge $8 for this drink, but we were there during happy hour, so it was only $4.

I wasn’t going to give up on this place. Next, I tried their New Fashion Old Fashion. This drink includes a bunch of ingredients that I was not completely familiar with: overholt rye, fernet branca, triple sec, maraschino liqueur and house made apple bourbon bitters.

I appreciate the time and crafting of the assembly of this cocktail. This was definitely a process and I enjoyed every moment of it, including when the bartender sliced a fresh piece of the rind off of a lemon and coated the rim of the glass with it. However, it was one strong drink that kicked me off my ass. It was super burny the entire drink.

Since then, I have un-liked them on Facebook and have no intentions of going out of my way to visit again. However, if I was in the neighborhood, I would partake in their libations again, just not the old fashioned. Also to note, I saw they had ginger beer there! It has been on my "to taste" list for some time. My rating is based largely on their Wisco Old Fashioned, which just wasn't up to bar based on the taste and the price. However, the bar is quite nice, so that bumps up the rating.

Rating (out of 5 olives)

The Libertine 
209 N. Washington Street 
Green Bay


  1. Hello Megan,

    My name is Tony Oczus and I am the owner of The Libertine. First off I would like to thank you for coming into my venue and trying us out. I greatly appreciate any input you have. Secondly I would just like to correct a few points in your article. The Wisco style old fashioned you had is normally $5 dollars and $4 during happy hour, not $8 as mentioned. On almost all cocktails we make, we have a default garnish unless our guest specifically asks for something different, which we are always welcome to accommodate. Another point I would like to mention is the sweetness of that particular cocktail. With the addition of soda, most cocktails will contain more sugar and thus a sweet taste. Rum and cola,Bourbon and lemon-lime, dark and stormy, and even tonic water contains sugar. I think you will find that most recipes for an old fashioned contain sugar or a variation of it. As for the aromatics; we will always add more bitters if you prefer it. I think we look at this cocktail as for someone who wants an introduction to our menu thus we try to keep things simple. I would again like to thank you for coming in and would hope you drop us a line if you decide to join us again so your cocktails have the best attention paid to them.

    Thank you,

  2. Hello Tony,

    I can appreciate an owner keeping track of reviews on the internet, but if you are going to leave a comment, I suggest that you do you research.

    The whole point of this blog is that I compare different old fashioneds that I have tried, since so many places make it differently than the others. Obviously my ratings are based on my pallet and preferences.

    Sorry that I got your pricing wrong, but I think that is an issue of your advertising, not mine. That was the impression I received by the looks of your menu and signs.

    OBVIOUSLY old fashioneds contain sugar, thank you for attempting to make me feel stupid-- that probably isn't good business sense. I am quite aware that tonic contains sugar. Most drinks I consume are with club soda; however, in MY opinion, YOUR old fashioned is sweeter than most. My pallet. I attributed the sweetness to the simple syrup you use.

    If you actually read and digested my review, you would note that I did enjoy and appreciated the ambiance and craftsmanship of your bar and that I even noted that I would come back, just not order an old fashioned. However, with this sort of response, I would highly discourage it.

    Thank you,
    Old Fashioned Connoisseur