Mid -Michigan is generally the greater Lansing area. There are several wonderful craft breweries in the greater Lansing area but along with these breweries, Lansing has quite a few distilleries too. Not being a beer drinker, our friends, our Designated Driver and I set off to taste test Christmas drinks offered by these distilleries.
Sanctuary Spirits – Grand Ledge, MI
A wide open bar with seating at the bar, tables and a warm chatting section with couches and chairs, it’s warm and welcoming. The music plays pleasantly in the background yet is low enough for a great conversation. Here we all tried the Krampus Egg Nog – while the DD had a diet Coke. The Krampus Egg Nog is a twist on the standard rum addition to Egg Nog. It has rum made right at Sanctuary Spirits and the addition of Krampus Koffee Likker – original and available. Sanctuary has a great list of original offerings both from the distillery and brewery. Sanctuary’s bar-tender and atmosphere can’t be beat.
American 5th – Lansing’s First Distillery – Lansing, MI
American 5th has a wide variety of original offerings and an extensive menu of drinks. So many options, we couldn’t decide which drink we wanted. We noticed that American 5th offered flights to taste test. So we ordered 2 flights – one of the liquors produced there at the distillery and one of the holiday drink options. We all agreed that the straight liquor was nice but too strong for our liking. So we moved on to the holiday drink flight – here we had the options of Raspberry Truffle, Ginger all the Way, Noggin and Drunkin Punkin. Each of us tried these and each had a different favorite. Finally, I ordered the special holiday drink – Pecan Blinders. Others tried the Salted Caramel Nog and a Raspberry Gimlet. Before we drank we had some great appetizers and took our time to enjoy the comfortable setting. The waitstaff was informative and knew about the offerings, the craft and could answer any questions we might have about the drinks or the processes.
Michigrain Distillery – Lansing, MI
Right around the corner, was our next stop, Michigrain Distillery – again we ordered some food and water before looking at the list of holiday martini’s. Small and inviting this was a quaint stop. It can get a tad loud when others drinking get a bit rowdy. The food was good and the drinks are tasty. For a newer distillery, their salted caramel-tini and Grinch-tini were good options.
Red Cedar Spirits, -Haslett, MI
Finally, after buying burgers for the DD, we headed to our final destination, Red Cedar Spirits. Red Cedar Spirits is in Haslett, just east of downtown. By this time, we all agreed that this would have to be our last stop. The tour had been fun but despite having four other distilleries that we could have visited, we wouldn’t be able to drink more on this trip. I had been to Red Cedar before and knew that their products were always top notch. It is a smaller place but worth the stop. It was quieter than Michigrain and by then we appreciated the quieter venue. We were able to look at the fun Red Cedar holiday menu of drinks and while the others tried the Rough Sunday Morning, I tried the Swedish Fishbowl. Great drinks in a cozy setting.
Overall, it was a fun day out with great friends and good drinks. Each distillery has its own personality and unique offerings. Try them out, buy their special liquors made locally. Why buy a national brand when we have great producers locally?