Winter can drag on in Wisconsin, and this year is no exception. Consider simulating spring’s arrival via the following eats, drinks and events—each novel enough to make spending another month mostly indoors actually enjoyable again.
Putting an inventive spin on caffeinated beverages, Java Twist creator Steve Schuyler’s Milwaukee-based brand makes a coffee boost possible any time of day, simply by popping off a bottle top. “Java Twist was born out of making fresh Arnold Palmers in a small coffee shop I was managing. We ran out of tea so I used coffee instead with the lemonade,” he says. “I loved the product so much I found a way to make it shelf stable, then branched out into other flavors—all using real fruit juice, sugar, water and coffee. Our only non-coffee beverage is a Chocolate Lemonade.” The current product line also includes spring-friendly sips like Lemon Brew, Lime Brew, Cranberry Brew and Pineapple Brew.
The Canopy Sessions at Bolz Conservatory at Olbrich Botanical Gardens
The botanical escape available inside Bolz Conservatory is currently open to the public, but like many public spaces, still at a reduced admission capacity. For those missing 70-degree temps plus all the sights and sounds which accompany a variety of plant life in full bloom, Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison is livestreaming via its Facebook page music performances taking place inside the conservatory. “We wanted to continue our newest concert series, The Canopy Sessions, during the pandemic because there have been so few opportunities for live music in the past year. The Bolz Conservatory provides one of the most unique venues in Madison—for musicians and audiences—so having these performances available online means everyone can enjoy local, live music from the comfort of home,” says program specialist Mike Gibson. The two upcoming performances in April will also have a small in-person audience, with facemasks and other social-distancing protocols. Pianist and singer Anthony Deutsch performs on Friday, April 2, and funk-fusion band Wurk performs on Friday, April 23.
Warmer weather slowly approaching means more veggies will soon be in season locally. With plant-based eating soon to be top of mind for many Milwaukee residents, Funky Fresh Spring Rolls renovated its kitchen recently to help meet increased customer demand. Owner TruMan McGee’s creative ingredient pairings—like Buffalo Chicken and Kale, Vegan Chorizo Brunch, Chicken Honey Sriracha, Beyond Pizza and Shrimp Gumbo—appeal to a variety of dietary preferences. Fresh spring rolls and rotating menu of specialty salads can be ordered six days a week at its storefront inside The Sherman Phoenix. Packages of frozen spring rolls are available for purchase at Outpost Natural Foods or online for delivery nationwide.