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Bartender 608: Mixing and Serving Delicious Drinks Since 2007

By Marina I. Jokic

The staff at Bartender 608 Intoxicologists & Cocktail Caterers take the edge off planning your next company party, wedding reception, tasting, or whatever else you might want to pull together. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Bartender 608 is one of the premier alcoholic caterers in the Midwest. Owner China Moon Crowell is a seasoned hospitality specialist, possessing over twenty-one years of experience in the food and beverage business.

Developing a love for spirits came naturally to Crowell, who spent a lot of time indulging in a surfeit of good food and drinks with her family. While growing up in New York, Crowell remembers spending most of her time in the kitchen, which was constantly bustling with activity. Her grandfather, who was a numbers runner in Brooklyn, was always ready to entertain company, brandishing an assortment of spirits and plenty of food. "I'd watch my mom and Aunt Gwen play music, mix drinks, and play cards," reminisces Crowell, who would also help her grandfather get the bar ready for company.

Although in her pre-entrepreneurial days, Crowell never seriously considered becoming a bartender, she admits that her friends and acquaintances would often comment on her natural abilities behind the bar. "Growing up in New York, friends and associates would tell me my personality was like a barkeep," she shares.

Embracing her gift, Crowell decided to devote herself fully to the cocktail craft. While working various conventional gigs around the city, the customers at her regular job urged her to bartend their house and holiday parties and other events. Shortly after, Crowell decided the local business scene was ripe for her unique catering concept, and so Bartender 608 saw the light of day.

A talent for making exceptional cocktails in a minimalist fashion distinguishes the catering selection at Bartender 608. "I enjoy concocting cocktails with three ingredients or [fewer] in order for one to appreciate the spirit; however, people like what they like," Crowell says, who has a soft spot for classic cocktails. If you enjoy an Old Fashioned Sweet made from scratch or a Dark and Stormy or a Jack and Coke, Crowell is eager to cater your event and ensure the best possible service.

Often times, people neglect to choose a barkeep until the last minute, which can significantly impact the quality of their event. Crowell implores her clients to put the same care and attention into selecting a bartending service as they do with florists, caterers, and venues. Bartender 608 takes care of every last detail, from procuring the freshest ingredients to providing experienced staff. They can also arrange a list of places where folks can select beer, wine and spirits (including kegs).

Crowell customizes her beverage offerings according to the unique needs of individual clients. There are two standard packages (beer & wine and beer, wine & spirits), but each contains a rich medley of alcoholic beverages, craft cocktails, and garnishes that can be customized to anyone's liking. "The style, professionalism and services of Bartender 608 blows people away," Crowell adds. Packages include a consultation, planning, bar layout, supplies, rentals, set-up, and disassembly.

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