The mix of dreary weather and post-spring break blues has cooled Madison down to an all-time low. Only thoughts of daiquiris by the beach and endless bikini posts on Instagram can remind students of the break now past.
Though we have a few more grueling weeks of rain and cold to endure before the lakes start looking anything like a beach again, Madison offers some tropical drinks around town to get everyone through the doldrums of a Wisconsin Indian winter.
Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace: Margarita
Tex Tubb’s can make a mean Mexican meal, and, with a name that suggests royalty, they know it. This Willy Street mainstay is the always-satisfying choice if you’re craving Mexican. Their margaritas are strong and made with premium ingredients like fresh squeezed lime juice and to top-shelf tequila. They have ten different kinds to choose from, some with grapefruit juice mixed with agave nectar and some with pepper-infused tequila and a cayenne salt rim. To get more bang for your buck, go for on the rocks rather than frozen.
Gib’s Bar: Artisanal Malibu
Also on Willy Street, Gib’s Bar has a completely different vibe than the taco-stand-esque Tex Tubb’s. Gib’s is built in an old house and has a kitschy-cool vibe to go with their creative drinks. The artisanal malibu is a mix of coconut-washed rum, lime juice and gomme — a type of smooth, sugary syrup. This drink is perfect for anyone missing the smell of tanning oil and salt water, and will quench your thirst better than watered-down resort cocktails. Gib’s is a funky place to go if you’re looking for something different to do on a Friday night, and it has a full menu of other craft cocktails to choose from.
Tiki Shack: Any Deal
Tiki is an oddball bar in Madison, but maybe it’s just what students need post-spring break. The State Street dive bar has the perfect combo of tiki décor and cheap drinks to make Friday after class or Saturday night a little sunnier, with their junky, tropical atmosphere. The 16 oz. Red Stripes and $3 double vodka lemonades are tropical enough, while the décor makes up for the rest. Pair that with the $2 beer vending machine and Tiki Shack has the right playful atmosphere to get into a vacation state of mind any day of the week.
Madison Blind: White Sangria
Okay, so the Madison Blind really hits its stride in the summer, but the indoor part of the rooftop bar is enough to hold you over until spring and the sun emerges. At this rooftop bar at the Graduate Hotel, the white sangria is an excellent choice to sip on as you look over the recently thawed Lake Mendota. Made with white wine, seasonal fruit and other fresh ingredients, this drink is the right mix of sweet and fruity to be borderline addictive. On a sunny day, the big glass windows fill with light to make you think you just might be back in the Caribbean sun again.