Drinks with Pat: One big prediction

Pat Evans

A few Grand Rapids beverage businessmen might be in on the next big drink in the U.S.

A few weeks ago, we covered a few West Michiganders with connections to Founders Brewing investing into The Finnish Long Drink. Those investors are co-founder Mike Stevens, COO Brad Stevenson and former executive chair John Green.

As publications start doling out 2022 predictions, here’s one of my beverage predictions: the Long Drink will be the next big beverage craze.

It started for me when I lived in Las Vegas the past few years. My wife worked for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights — and surprise, The Finnish Long Drink already had made its rounds through the hockey world.

For good reason! It’s downright delicious, virtually tasting exactly like Fresca or Squirt, albeit with a bit of alcohol.

There’s the normal version in a pleasing blue can, but there’s also a sugar free version (tastes nearly the same), a strong version with about 8% ABV, and perfect for Christmas: Cranberry.

Needless to say, when I saw this investment would help bring it to West Michigan, I knew I’d be happy Long Drink will be back in my fridge, and I’m sure many other fridges across the area.

You can make your own (it’s basically a gin and citrus soda cocktail originating from Finland), but the cans are super easy!

What I’m sipping on this week

Last Sunday was my wife’s birthday and also the final race of the 2021 Formula 1 season, so we woke up early and made ourselves some bloody marys. We used the locally-made Brewt’s Bloody Mary Mix — the company’s hot sauces are great too — and poured in some American Liquor Company Vodka.

The Midwest-made vodka includes six vodkas, blended together in Temperance in southeast Michigan.

The six vodkas are:

  • Wheat: Middle West Spirits from Columbus, Ohio
  • Wheat: Stumpy Spirits from Columbia, Illinois
  • Corn: Yahara Bay from Fitchburg, Wisconsin
  • Rye: Grand Traverse Distillery from Traverse City
  • Rye: Valentine Distilling from Ferndale
  • Potato: Proof Artisan Distillers from Fargo, North Dakota

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