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Death's Door Spirits Kringle Cream and Wondermint

Death's Door Spirits' Kringle Cream and Wondermint schnapps, shown here at Distill America 2014, were mentioned in the New York Times on Tuesday.

In an amusing reversal of the way trends usually go, Wisconsin booze trends are making an impact on New York City bars.

That's what Milwaukee native and longtime spirits writer Robert Simonson has noticed, anyway.

"Wisconsin has exercised an inordinate influence on New York dining and drinking of late," Simonson wrote in Tuesday's New York Times Dining & Wine section.

He cites as examples Beloit native Michael White's take on a supper club, the Butterfly, in TriBeCa, and Gabriel Stulman's "Little Wisco," a collection of restaurants in the West Village.

Stulman used to work at the shuttered Cafe Montmartre. He named one of his newer restaurants after it, and he frequently hires Midwesterners, which big city critics have praised for their "earnest, familiar ... entirely nonthreatening" style of service.

In the Tuesday piece, Simonson highlighted two new spirits from Death's Door Distillery in Middleton, introduced to Madison at this year's Distill America.

"Wondermint is that thing that no one in the craft spirit movement had yet thought of: artisanal peppermint schnapps," he wrote. "Kringle Cream is a rum cream liqueur made to taste like a kringle, a large-form Nordic pastry associated with Racine, Wis.

"Both are proudly provincial and, frankly, a tad down-market."

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Simonson, a widely read cocktail writer, has long championed the habits of his home state. His new book, "The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World's First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore," was released in mid-May by Ten Speed Press.

In it, he calls the Old Fashioned "as close to an official state drink as the Badger State had."

Now New Yorkers can get variations on the drink, too.

In an interview last fall, Little Wisco beverage manager Brian Bartels said he named one cocktail per restaurant for the places he still remembers fondly: the Memorial Union Old Fashioned, the Devil's Lake Old Fashioned and the Weary Traveler Old Fashioned.

"I'm so influenced by the Wisconsin supper clubs and how they still have this allure," Bartels said.

Since 2008, Lindsay Christians has been writing about fine arts and food for The Capital Times. She loves eating at the bar, going to the theater, fine wine and good stories. She lives on the east side with her husband, two cats and too many cookbooks.