By Anna Thomas Bates

MADISON’S COCKTAIL SCENE IS SIZZLING. Restaurants like Merchant, Heritage Tavern, Nostrano, Forequarter and Oliver’s Public House are putting as much thought into their drink menus as their food.

Imagine bringing this level of craft to your own private party, without getting tennis elbow from shaking drinks yourself. Picture a polished 1956 vintage Airstream trailer with a fully functioning bar. It opens to reveal two cocktail stations and a tap tower where bartenders serve perfectly stirred Manhattans or your favorite pint. It’s called the Barmadillo, and yes, it’s as cool as it sounds.

It’s called the Barmadillo, and yes, it’s as cool as it sounds. It belongs to “Three Count Beverage Co., launched last year by almost 50 years of combined bartending experience to work at Oliver’s Public House, where they helped design the bar itself and a seasonal cocktail menu.

“They found the Airstream on Craigslist, renovated it with a complete custom bar and spent more than 100 hours polishing the exterior, “The result is as beautiful as it is unique.

Here’s how the Barmadillo works: “There really isn’t anything like it in the state, so at present they cannot carry a liquor license or run a cash bar. “The host buys the liquor (“Three Count tells you what to buy and where to get it), then the bartenders show up and add some liquid fabulousness to your party, whether it’s your favorite beer served by friendly staff in jeans, Aviations—classic cocktailsshaken by bartenders in vests and bowties, or something custom incorporating specialty bitters and cordials.

It’s all about serving up a bartender’s great drinks and hospitality, plus a little shiny fun. Email [email protected] for more information.

JR Mocanu describes this cocktail as “lovely and easy to prepare.” If you can’t find key limes, use regular lime juice. Velvet Falernum is a liqueur used in many tiki or Caribbean drinks; it’s spiced with cloves, almond, allspice and more.

Serves 1

1 oz. white rum (Three Count suggests Plantation 3 Star Rum)
0.25 oz. fresh lime juice
0.25 oz. fresh Key lime juice
0.5 oz. Velvet Falernum Champagne
Glass: champagne flute
Garnish: thinly sliced lemongrass stalk

Add rum, juice, Velvet Falernum and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake hard for 10 seconds. Strain into a champagne flute. Top with Champagne. Gently stir and garnish with lemongrass stalk.

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