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Cheers! Rosemary and Michigan spirits

Jan 27, 2017

The interior of The Oakland: Art Novelty Company, one of Michigan's very first craft cocktail bars.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Cheers! crew hit the road, heading to Ferndale, where one of the very first Michigan craft cocktail bars is tucked away on 9 Mile in downtown.

The Oakland bar’s Chas Williams shared a recipe from the cocktail menu. This one includes not one, but two Michigan-made spirits. The “Minnie and Roman” is named after two characters in the movie Rosemary’s Baby. Why? Because the cocktail includes a sprig of rosemary.

“We’re luck enough with the craft distillery boom we’re going through in the state to have a very large pick of Michigan spirits that are of the quality we want to serve to our guests,” Williams said.

The two picks for this cocktail are vodka from Valentine Distilling Company (also based in Ferndale) and aquavit from Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids.

Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings noted a lot of people might not be as familiar with the aquavit ingredient. The alcohol originated in Scandinavia. It’s a lot like gin, but instead of flavoring the alcohol with juniper, aquavit is often flavored with caraway as is Long Road’s version.

The other liquid ingredients are lime juice (fresh, please) and St. Germain, which is so versatile that some bartenders refer to it as the “ketchup” of the bar.

The "Minnie and Roman" from Chas Williams at The Oakland bar.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Minnie and Roman

2 oz vodka (Valentine Distilling Co.)

3/4 oz St. Germain

3/4 oz lime juice

1/4 oz aquavit (Long Road Distillers)

1 sprig rosemary

Break off the bottom half of the rosemary prig. Strip leaves into mixing tin. Fill tin with ice. Add other ingredients. Shake mixing tin. Fill a collins glass with crushed ice. Double strain ingredients into the glass (you don't want loose rosemary leaves in your drink). Garnish with top half of rosemary sprig.

The Oakland is located at 201 W. 9 Mile Road. It opens at 5:00 p.m.