The 5 Most Detroit Cocktails Ever

Most Detroit Cocktails
Megan Frye
Megan Frye

The search for the perfect cocktail may often be thwarted by the temptation to simply down a happy hour well drink or shotgun a tall boy. In order to make sure we didn’t get sidetracked, we enlisted the help of Melissa Smith, a local mixologist who has concocted libations at Toast, Cork, and the unfortunately defunct Club Bart. Using almost exclusively Detroit and Michigan booze, mixers, and garnishes, we set off to create the Most Detroit Cocktail Of All Time. We tried a lot of things. These five made the cut:

Joe Louis’ Split Lip Bloody Beer

Atwater Lager
Local Bloody Mary mix: use McClure’s or Vivio’s (for a milder flavor)

Williams hickory-smoked Swiss cheese
Better Made pretzels
Safie’s pickled asparagus
New York Bagel Company everything bagel with cream cheese

Taste: Salty as a Detroit Winter street; packs a punch like Joe Louis

The Wayne Fontes Cooler Most Detroit Cocktails
Megan Frye

The Wayne Fontes Cooler

Blueberry-infused Valentine vodka
Homemade blueberry simple syrup
Raspberry blueberry (aka Honolulu Blue) Faygo
Iced green tea


Taste: Sweet and refreshing, like a Lions victory

Fort Wayne Cherry Bomb/ Red Wing Widow Most Detroit Cocktails
Megan Frye

Red Wing Widow

Melissa’s homemade cherry/walnut/vanilla bean-infused water
Two James Distillery’s Grass Widow bourbon
Splash of Vernors

Michigan cherries

Taste: Perfect for sippin’ at sunset on the Detroit River.

Ginny Hoffa/Gin Hickey Most Detroit Cocktails
Megan Frye

Ginny Hoffa

Valentine Liberator gin
Fresh mint
Fresh lime
Homemade raspberry simple syrup
St. Germain

Taste: Addictive. Warning: have too many and you may never be seen again.

Sander’s Sundae Surprise Most Detroit Cocktails
Megan Frye

Sanders' Sundae Surprise

Traverse City cherry whiskey
What Would Jenni Brew Jen Blend coffee, iced
Black walnut bitters
Sanders hot fudge, melted
Whipped cream

Cinnamon suger rim
Michigan cherry

Taste: Like a latte. The booze is the cherry on top.