In celebration of Grand Rapids Cocktail Week, on Sunday, Nov. 22 the UICA and Grand Rapids Downtown Market are hosting a hands-on cocktail class from 3–5 p.m. at the market and are pairing it with a 5:30 p.m. screening of the 2013 documentary Hey Bartender at the UICA.
Craft distilleries are opening at a pace that probably has the teetotalling proponents of Prohibition turning over in their graves. The influx of neighborhood distilleries surely has the fine people of West Michigan careening into the rapture, glasses filled with craft bourbon in each hand. But the truth of the matter is a little less ominous as the rash of new craft distilleries has far more to do with the growing craft movement in general than it does with the end times.
West Michigan is overflowing with trendy new breweries, but lest we forget the old fashioned watering hole. From where to score the best Happy Hour deals to the budding Cocktail Renaissance, this special guide is all about the local pubs and taverns. Because lists are fun, here’s a roundup of some must-visit places to get a good cocktail.
If you’re familiar with the television cooking show Iron Chef, then you’re at least familiar with the general premise of the Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild’s Iron Bartender competition. It’s pretty simple: Bring in some talented culinary professionals, throw some surprise ingredients at them and see the creative ways they use said ingredients to create something delectable.
They don’t make ‘em like they used to. That’s how the saying goes, anyway. And at Nick Fink’s, the oldest bar in Grand Rapids, they’re absolutely fine with that adage. While developers are continually constructing flashy, new breweries and trendy pubs across the state, other more ripened watering holes hang their hats on heritage.
Enjoy San Chez' seasonal cocktail, the Limonana. Made with 1¼ oz. lemongrass gin, 1¼ oz. fresh honeydew melon juice and ¾ oz. Cointreau and paired with a piece of Serrano ham anchored with a grape — it's the perfect sweet and salty drink.
Ho, dear reader! Huddle close to this page terminus while I sit at The Meanwhile Bar, suckling at a treat of my own concoction: The Ghost Puncher. The origin of this drink drives from a reference of irreverence against the famous non-alcoholic infusion, The Arnold Palmer.
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