Over the past several years there's been a blossoming in the Detroit craft cocktail scene as new lounges, bars, and distilleries open featuring their twists on classic drinks and mixtures of their own invention. Cocktail experts Joe Robinson and Travis Fourmont think it's time that Detroit celebrates the local industry keeping us in spirits. The two are the masterminds behind the first annual Detroit Cocktail Classic coming to The Garden Theater in Midtown this Friday.
Both are well known in the Detroit's drink scene. Fourmont works with Great Lakes Coffee, while Robinson is the notorious bartender who abruptly left Antietam last July alongside chef Brendon Edwards. Through their pop up cocktail company Bailout Productions, the two have teamed up with Liquid Events, Pulp Detroit, and 12 local restaurants and bars to present a craft cocktail tasting and brunch.
Cities like Seattle and Portland hold annual "cocktail weeks" says Fourmont, and while he thinks Detroit is not quite ready for a weeklong event, the industry deserves at least two days. "There's no denying that craft cocktail have kind of exploded in Detroit," Fourmont says.
The event is not a competition, but an opportunity for some of the community's finest bartenders to show off their prowess. Representatives from Two James, Craftwork, The Oakland, Rock City Eatery, Republic, and more will be there for the tasting. Advance tickets for the Classic are $40, which includes 15 beverage samples-enough for a second, third, or even fourth visit to your favorite "Libation Station" if desired. The event includes live entertainment from Will Sessions and DJ Bertram Cooper.
The Cocktail Classic carries over into The Hangover Brunch at Public House in Ferndale on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. While the details haven't been completely worked out yet, Fourmont says that Bailout will be serving Bloody Mary's, as well as their own recipe for bathtub gin made from infused vodka. For complete details, visit the event Facebook page or the Detroit Cocktail Classic website.