Incidentally, Levine says Chartreuse sales in the Detroit area have been going up the last five years and skyrocketed last year, prompting a visit from the President and CEO of Chartreuse, Jean-Marc Roget, who had never before visited the city where the Last Word was invented. Levine himself recently returned from a visit to the Carthusian Monks in France, the makers of Chartreuse, courtesy of Roget & Co. Not just anyone gets to visit the Chartreuse monks on the Chartreuse dime. You could safely say that this is kind of a Big Deal.
In the meantime, back in Detropia, cocktail recipes from Standby (in Playboy), Sugar House (Food Network), and Mabel Gray (Eater) have all recently been published for national audiences.
Yet all of this attention Detroit’s cocktail scene has received has been tinged with a sort of gawking at those managing to make great cocktails despite everything else -- certainly not because of it. When the talk shifts back to the “serious” American cocktail cities, New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Chicago, and Portland still dominate, with nary a whisper of Detroit's renaissance.