Fabulous Flavors at Distillery Tasting Rooms
Warm your cockles on chilly days with savory spirits
For decades, Michigan wineries and breweries have been welcoming visitors and a growing number of distilleries and tasting rooms are opening up across the state offering additional sipping options.
Visit one of two new tasting rooms where they offer flights and classic cocktails that will warm your body and soul.
In Boyne City, Muskrat Distilling is the place to go to sample pre-prohibition era cocktails in a meticulously restored 1890’s building. Co-owners Augie Engelhart and Matt McCann chose the name in homage to its location along the Boyne River and the muskrats they would see swimming during the building’s renovation prior to their April 2022 opening.
“The reason rum and whiskey drinks are so popular in the winter is they play so well with classic wintertime spices. The rich caramel notes in our Muskrat Rum pair perfectly with clove and nutmeg. Likewise, our Whiskey, with its oak, vanilla, and tannin aromas match well with complex chai’s and coffee,” says Engelhart who recommends eggnog as the perfect holiday drink.
What sets Muskrat apart from other tasting rooms is they make every ingredient on their menu at the Gypsy Vodka facility in Petoskey. Their cocktail syrups are their own recipes; they infuse seven different kinds of bitters, and their citrus juice is pressed fresh daily.
“We built these spirits to pair perfectly with our cocktails, and when everything is homemade and fresh, it makes for quite the differentiated drink,” says Engelhart.
While they don’t serve food, they have teamed up with several local restaurants for deliveries and pride themselves on creating cocktails that pair perfectly with guests’ meals.
The Honorable Distillery
For a truly unique experience at a distillery with an onsite tasting room, look no further than The Honorable Distillery in Marquette – open since August. Owners Anne White and Scott Anderson restored the former 11,000-square-foot Nordic Theater (just blocks from the Lake Superior shoreline), recreating the Modernist style of the 1930s to reflect famous architect Michael Meredith Hare’s original design.
The tasting room graces the former lobby where gimlets, mules and cosmos are served to U.P. visitors and locals alike. On a chilly fall or winter day, Anderson recommends a hot toddy made with one of their signature whiskeys.
“There is no doubt that the combination of sweetness, spices and perhaps some citrus, mixed with a fine whiskey will take the edge off even the coldest days, and, some say, may cure a variety of ailments,” says Anderson.
While sipping on a vodka, gin, rum or whiskey cocktail, visitors can view the impressive distilling equipment on display in the background. “Our still is made of copper and stainless steel and our vodka column is 20 feet tall. It is shiny and intimidating. The scale and magnitude and scientific aura of a still is magical,” says Anderson.
“Our still is made of copper and stainless steel and our vodka column is 20 feet tall. It is shiny and intimidating. The scale and magnitude and scientific aura of a still is magical,” says Anderson.
To complete the entertainment vibe, popcorn is also served from the original theater recipe. And while there is no food service, local eateries are happy to take delivery orders.
Cover photo by M.S. Meeuwesen on Unsplash
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