With the return of Last Call, our goal is to highlight the craft of thoughtful, innovative cocktails created by local bartenders and mixologists. Our first drink, the Bitter Apple, comes from Long Road Distillers’ first-ever “Taking the Long Road Cocktail Competition,” which challenged local bartenders to create a premium libation with Long Road spirits. Maureen Di Virgilio from The Green Well in Grand Rapids walked us through her winning recipe.
Mixed drinks from a tap. The very idea seems almost … sacrilegious, somehow, doesn’t it?
But with craft distilleries putting a deeper footprint in West Michigan’s food and beverage economy, spirit-makers are embracing yet another big-city trend — the draft cocktail. While the idea is relatively new, establishments in the area have found undeniable upsides to the format.
The path to opening a distillery can take many twists and turns. Just ask Nic and Joanna Merrill. The couple have been working on The Kalamazoo Stillhouse since 2013, when they purchased the building at 618 East Michigan Ave. Some three years out, they’ve yet to open, but the runway for them to start producing spirits is significantly shorter now.
Whether it’s a squat rocks glass carrying a perfectly crafted old fashioned or the long stem of a sophisticated martini glass, cocktails have an inherent style that speaks a language of personality and fine taste. It’s the reason you see so many people posing with an upscale drink in their Facebook profile pictures. But where exactly does the fascination come from? Check out these area bars who are creating cocktails that not only please the palate, but are also aesthetically interesting.
Bartenders play many roles, depending on the bar and the patron — armchair psychologist, liquid pharmacist, philosopher of debauchery and so on. Between all these roles, they play a valuable (crucial, even) part in the community. Ask pretty much any bargoer their favorite barkeep and the name of at least one enigmatic drink-slinger will rise to the top.
Earlier this year, Revue asked West Michigan that very question with our Best of the West survey. Here, we chat with the top 3 winners.
By nature, distillers are a reflective lot. They make spirits and then often store them away in barrels for years on end to allow the wood and alcohol to mellow into a delicious quaff. That time-consuming process creates opportunities for introspection — and drinking, of course. Revue asked distillery owners from around West Michigan about their favorite spirits and cocktails. Here’s what they had to say.
Holland-based Coppercraft Distillery plans to make a big splash in its third year as the official spirit for the Tulip Time Festival.
Fresh off of winning a bronze medal for its Rum and a gold medal and best in class honors for its Cask-Strength Bourbon at the American Distilling Institute Expo last month, the craft distillery partnered with 13 local restaurants on the Copper Trail, a passport promotion running from May 7-31.
This month I sat down with Kate Leeder: A St. Louis native, closeted Bud Lite fan and co-owner of Aperitivo — a cheese, charcuterie, wine and beer shop at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market (435 Ionia Ave., SW). Bonus: The shop is paired with a bar featuring a sampling of its select stock.
If you’re looking for someone to geek out with over cheese, or for the best wine to pair with Pringles (yes, Pringles), perhaps you should pay Leeder and her staff a visit. You’ll never look at wine the same way again.
Long Road Distillers' new whisky series, Short's Brewing Co. releases the special edition "Batch 5000", The People's Cider Co. gets a tasting room, plus a huge list of upcoming breweries, meaderies and distilleries.
The Black Heron on the West Side of Grand Rapids makes The Jungle Bird with a tincture of the sunset shone warm about the verdant lime wedge.
In this cocktail, the Campari and pineapple burst onto one’s palate like a phantom grapefruit lemonade inception. This Bird alights upon the tongue.
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