Michigan is a state of forests, farms, and fields, and distilleries are putting them to work to produce small batch gins. If you are visiting the state, you can visit some of the local distilleries for a taste of Michigan terroir.
For the first time in Michigan, you can enjoy a distilled cocktail mixer made from all local ingredients. Long Road Distillers is now offering MICHIGIN, a 90-proof gin distilled exclusively with Michigan ingredients. This gin is perfect for Michigan-made cocktails such as the Emerald Isle. You can also find MICHIGIN in bars and restaurants throughout the state.
Michigin’s base spirit is made from a blend of red winter wheat, locally harvested juniper, and a dash of Lake Michigan water. The botanicals are sourced from local farms, including spruce tips, spruce root, juniper berries, and lemon balm. It’s bright and piney, and its a perfect addition to Long Road’s artisan cocktails.
MICHIGIN is available at the Long Road Distillers tasting room. Customers can purchase a bottle for half off. Michigin will be released to statewide distribution in February. Currently, the gin is only available in bars and restaurants in Michigan. To purchase it, call the distillery at 734-451-3403.
Red Cedar Spirits is one of the oldest distilleries in Michigan. Their mainstay Blue Label Gin is a light and balanced gin that is easy on juniper. During a tasting, owner Diane Holman led the michigan gin group through a variety of products.
There are several microdistilleries in Northern Michigan that are harnessing the forest and field to distill small-batch gins. The 86 Company gin, for instance, is flavoured with nine botanicals, including coriander, angelica root, sage leaf, fresh orange peel, cardamon, and juniper. Each botanical is infused into the base spirit for a complex aroma and a rich flavor.
Coppercraft distillery is a west Michigan brand that pays tribute to hard-working Michiganders by making award-winning liquors. In fact, their newest product, Social 416 Gin, features blades of bluegrass from Comerica Park. It’s great in classic gin and tonics or diluted with fresh lime juice.
While you’re exploring the craft distilling scene in Michigan, you should make sure to stop by the Grand Traverse Distillery, too. The distillery is located on the outskirts of Traverse City, and its three cocktail lounges are open to the public in Mackinaw City, Frankenmuth, and Traverse City. They are also in the process of building a new tasting room on the east end of the city.
A & G Distillery in Paw Paw, Michigan, has a gin that is reminiscent of the classic London Dry gin. They use a base of grapes and follow the traditional London Dry taste profile.
FEW Spirits is another local producer. Originally located in Evanston, Illinois, FEW made barrel gins in the early days of the gin boom. Now they produce a variety of spirits, from aquavit to cherry brandy.
One of the most unique Michigan gins is the Eros. Based on the Latin word for forager, it uses wild foraged native botanicals for a subtle but complex aroma and flavor.