With over 40 bars and restaurants participating in Cocktail Week this year, you’ll want to be sure to map out your strategy for trying as many beverages as you can stomach.
Cocktail Week, brought to you by Experience Grand Rapids, takes place Nov. 8 -19, and it doesn’t just include cocktails. Throughout the 12-day event, participating restaurants and venues will offer two Michigan cocktails and a shared appetizer for $25 or less.
For instance, at Bier Distillery pair the white bean pesto crostini, shrimp cocktail or apple pie parfait with the Sour Old Man, a Lemon Lavender Martini, or the Sicilian.
Owner Joel Bierling said Bier Distillery enjoys Cocktail Week because it prompts the establishment to come up with a brand new cocktail. This year’s creation, Sour Old Man, is a gin-based beverage that also includes lemon juice, panela simple syrup, egg white and angostura bitters.
“This is our first release for barrel aged gin,” he said. “It’s been in the barrel for over a year and thinking about cocktail week, I popped the barrel open to see and it was great.”
Bierling said if you enjoy the Sour Old Man you can give the recipe a try yourself at home. The distillery is selling bottles of Mum’s Ruin Barrel Gin while supplies last.
Find a list of participating venues, specialty menus and special events for the third annual Cocktail Week here.
There are also special events, spirit classes, and distillery tours hosted by local distilleries, restaurants, and the U.S. Bartending Guild – Grand Rapids chapter (USBG-GR) throughout the event.
Cocktail Week Highlights:
Sunday Funday Trolley Tour
Starting at 1 p.m. on Nov.12, the USBG-GR will host a tour of Grand Rapids by trolley to try cocktails and shared plates at six Cocktail Week GR venues.
Tickets are $35 in advance and are available at Sunday Funday.
Grand Rapids Wine, Beer and Food Festival
Taking place at DeVos Place Convention Center Nov. 16-18, the event features the new Hemingway Hall,where craft producers and mixologists will showcase their finest spirits, mixers, garnishes and cocktails.
In conjunction with Cocktail Week GR, attendees will also enjoy a variety of cocktail classes throughout the festival.
Check out this video demo of Joel Bierling mixing up Bier Distillery’s Sour Old Man cocktail.