Holiday Cocktail

(Photo courtesy of Chas Williams of The Oakland)

Cider, Bourbon & Gin: Holiday Cocktails in the D


The holiday season brings many joys to our lives: family, giving, celebrations and more. But for those who enjoy cocktails, it brings happiness in the form of tasty alcoholic concoctions with winter flavors. Several southeast Michigan establishments offer holiday spirits; here are a few to keep in mind.

The Oakland: Art Novelty Company

The Oakland, located in Ferndale, has a classy, Prohibition-era ambiance. There are a few holiday-esque options available. The Lammas is made with Detroit City Distillery’s Harvest Moon Gin, and incorporates a house-made cinnamon syrup and Michigan apple cider. The Bengal Sling is made with  Beefeater Gin, grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice and other flavors.

The Oakland

(Photo courtesy of Chas Williams of The Oakland)

Another winter option is the Bluth’s Original Old Fashioned. Chas Williams, co-head bartender and manager at The Oakland, was kind enough to share a recipe for the drink:

2 ounces banana-infused Teeling Irish Whiskey

0.25 ounce of house-made cinnamon syrup

2 dashes of black walnut bitters

Garnish with a cinnamon stick

Selden Standard

Selden Standard is a seasonal, shared plates restaurant that also has great cocktails. The current seasonal selection includes Captain Hall’s Old Fashioned, the F.D.R. and more. Captain Hall’s Old Fashioned is a rye whiskey with cranberry spices and a cranberry maple syrup, a perfect combination for the holidays. The F.D.R. includes Cognac, Averna, cinnamon syrup, milk and nutmeg. In addition, Selden Standard will be adding a cherry-infused whisky with seasonal flavors to its menu very soon.

Red Smoke Barbeque

The Greektown barbecue restaurant offers quite the selection of holiday beverages. Thermos cocktails include two ciders, two cocoa drinks and two coffee drinks. The Hot Apple Pie consists of Liquor 43, Apple Pucker, warm cider and a drizzle of caramel with a shake of cinnamon. The All Warm & Fuzzy is hot cocoa with Bailey’s Irish Cream and Kahlúa with fresh whipped cream.

Sugar House

The Sugar House

(Photo courtesy of The Sugar House)

The Sugar House in Detroit is also immersed in the Prohibition era. Throughout the winter, Sugar House is offering a “flip” cocktail using a raw egg, bourbon, house-made spiced port and maple vanilla syrup. According to Bar Manager Jason Leinart, it “literally tastes like Christmas in a glass.” The bar also offers the Blue Blazer, which consists of rye whiskey, apple brandy, Black Strap rum, cinnamon syrup, angostura bitters and a dash of maraschino cherries. The drink is set on fire and tossed back and forth between two metal mugs before being poured.

Whether you are out and about shopping, meeting up with old friends or just need to wind down, treat yourself and enjoy a holiday-inspired beverage at one of these local establishments.