Braxton, Molly Wellmann, And O.K.I. Unveil Their New Cocktail Program

By: The Gnarly Gnome
Photos By: The Gnarly Gnome


Full disclosure: Braxton invited me to an event to explore their new cocktails and handed out some freebies for those of us who were there. They asked us to post about it on social media, but beyond that, they don’t have any oversight on what my thoughts are—and it doesn’t change my feelings either way.

When the news first hit that Braxton was going to revamp their cocktails in all their taprooms via a new collaboration with Molly Wellmann and O.K.I. Bourbon drinkers were understandably excited. Not only is this a great addition to a wonderful taproom for anyone who doesn’t want to drink beer, but for those of us who like to drink a little bit of everything, it’s a great way for us to do that in a space we already love.

There was one thing missing from the news, though. They wouldn’t tell us about these new cocktails they’d been working on. Lucky for us (and really lucky for me), Braxton invited me out to their taproom last night to get a little sneak peek at what they’d been working on. Of course, you know that means I will share it with you, too!

Have You Ever Fallen In Love With A Cherry?

I’m a sucker for a drink that includes a little tasty treat. Sometimes, that’s a dish that it’s paired with – sometimes, it’s something as simple as a cherry in a Manhattan (and yes, I’ll talk about the cocktails in a moment). As I looked through the menu, I was easily distracted by a big box explaining that the brewery had created its own custom cherries to use as garnishes.

The text explained that the cherries were made with whisky, spiced rum, sugar vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, Freddies root beer, and Angostura bitters.

The cherries are absolutely delicious, and when I tell you I fell in love with them, I’m not pulling your leg. They blew me away. You should 100% keep that in mind when you order a drink. If you’re on the fence, always pick the one with the cherry.

Speaking Of The Menu

I know this is a big part that you’ve been itching to see – and I can’t blame you. It’s great.

Kentucky Sunshine – Tito’s Vodka, orange blossom water, fresh orange syrup, and Lilet Rouge.

Party On 7th – Casamigos Reposado Tequila, Aperol, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup. Topped off with Scooter Blood Orange Radler.

Fresh Off 75 – A classic with a twist, blending Molly Wellmann’s Cincinnati Gin and fresh lemon juice and topped with sparkling wine. With a touch of sophistication, it’s finished off with a house-made blue simple syrup infused with butterfly flower tea, creating a refreshing and elegant libation.

Back Porch Mule – Tito’s Vodka, zesty ginger beer, and freshly squeezed lime juice served over ice.

O.K.I. Signature Old Fashioned – 2.5oz of O.K.I. Reserve Batch 1 Bourbon with a sugar cube, angostura bitters, exclusive Braxton Brewing Company cherries, and an O.K.I. branded ice cube with a zesty orange peel twist.

O.K.I. Signature Manhattan – 2.5oz of Braxton/Molly Wellmann Single Barrel O.K.I. Rye or Bourbon with sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, a Braxton Brewing Company exclusive cherry, and expressed with an orange peel. Served up or on the rocks.

My Thoughts

This is an excellent cocktail menu. It contains the signature drinks you see above, a bunch of classic drinks you already love, and pages of great spirits from O.K.I. if you like sipping your booze by itself.

Everything I had was delicious. I started with a Manhattan (again… with those cherries), and it hit all the right notes for me. The big O.K.I. emblazoned ice cube was a beautiful touch that you’ll see plenty of on Instagram, I’m sure. From there, I sipped on the Fresh Off 75 – it’s light, summery, and stands out in the taproom as you see folks walking around with cocktail glasses with the bright purple drink inside. The night wrapped up for me with a tall glass of their “Party on 7th,” – which brings tequila into the mix – and might have been my second favorite next to the Manhattan (I’m a sucker for a Manhattan).

I am one of those drinkers that likes everything. Sure, I drink beer more than anything else – but if you catch me out and about, there’s a chance you’ll see me with a cocktail in hand, too. There are some places I go to just for beer, and there are some places I go to just for cocktails. It’s exciting to have places that do both sides well.

I’m really excited to see how Braxton continues to build on this relationship they’ve started. I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s some fun stuff coming down the road.

Speaking Of…

O.K.I. Bourbon Barrel Ale

You don’t partner up with a brewery as a distillery without making something fun on the beer side. While I’m really pretty excited to see how the relationship carries on into Dark Charge Season, right now, we’ve got a beer that you can get your hands on as early as 5/4 (during their Derby Party)—this Bourbon Barrel Ale is a light golden ale aged in freshly dumped O.K.I Bourbon Barrels.

The brewery says that this is the tip of the cap to traditional barrel-aged beer and that you can experience a rich complexity of flavors from caramel sweetness to toasted oak, all culminating in a smooth, warming finish.

It’s 8% ABV and will be available in four packs of 12oz cans at the taproom year-round.

When You Can Experience It For Yourself

This all is let loose starting this weekend, on 5/4/24 in the Braxton taproom. They’re hosting their annual Derby Party, and I’m sure that amongst the goofy hats, and glasses of beer, you’ll see plenty of hands holding cocktails.

They have a Facebook event, and you should probably share it with your friends because it’s going to be an absolute blast!

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