It’s time to dust off your finest threads and travel back in time with us at Long Road Distillers. We’re tickled pink to be celebrating our 8th Anniversary, and what better way to mark the occasion than with a good-old-fashioned Midwest Supper Club dinner?

Join us for an unforgettable evening in our charming event space, The Rickhouse, where we’ll transport you to an era of no-nonsense vintage drinks, delectable dishes, and good cheer. Complete with low lighting, swanky vibes, and the nostalgic tunes of yesteryear, our Supper Club-inspired six-course chef’s dinner is just the bee’s knees.

Our team has prepared a six-course feast that’ll make you feel like you’ve traveled back to the heyday of the Midwest supper club scene. We’re serving up oyster shooters, shrimp cocktail, prime rib, and other mouthwatering delights to keep you wanting more.

And we’d be remiss not to mention our pièce de résistance: the cocktails! What would a Supper Club be without a classic Brandy Old Fashioned? We’re bringing you this staple and other nostalgic cocktails, all with a signature Long Road twist. You’ll be sipping on the spirit of the past while toasting to our future!

So, if you’re hankering for an evening of good company, scrumptious eats, and a hearty dose of Midwestern charm, look no further! We can’t wait to celebrate our 8th anniversary with our cherished friends and patrons. Join us in raising a glass as we toast to eight glorious years of Long Road Distillers.

The Deets:

  • When: Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 6:30 in the evening
  • Where: The Rickhouse at Long Road Distillers, 537 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
  • Price: $85 per person includes tax and gratuity
  • Click here for tickets
  • Must be 21 years of age or older to attend

The Morning Paper: A Happy Medium For My Palate
by Joey Robles-Zepeda, Beverage Manager, Long Road Distillers

The Morning Paper finds its roots in the Paper Plane cocktail, which was created by Sam Ross as a unique cocktail for the opening of The Violet Hour in 2008. The name for the Paper Plane was inspired by a song by M.I.A, which was popular in the summer of 2008.

My inspiration for the Morning Paper came from my daily commute to work via bus where I started to notice a pile of newspapers accumulating in front of the same house along the route. Each day I wondered if the “morning paper” would finally be brought in, and each day I was pleasantly surprised to see the pile growing.

As an avid drinker of both the Whiskey Sour and the Last Word cocktails, the modern classic Paper Plane finds a happy medium between bitter, boozy, and sour all in one, making it one of my preferred summer cocktails to beat the heat. 

A classic Paper Plane consists of bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Aperol, and lemon juice. With the Morning Paper, by replacing the Amaro Nonino with Amaro Pazzo, I was able to introduce an element of bittersweet coffee notes while retaining the richness of the classic drink. The substitution of our Orange Liqueur for Aperol was necessary to retain the citrus pop of the original cocktail, while fortifying the booziness of the cocktail without overpowering the overall flavor.

The combination of Amaro Pazzo and Orange Liqueur provides a balance of citrus, sweetness, and bitterness in the drink itself. Bourbon provides a rich bite throughout every sip of the drink.

The Morning Paper is garnished with a trimmed orange peel, squeezed over the drink and the rim of the glass to impart an aromatic note of citrus for the drink. It also provides a summer color accompaniment to the bright yellow hue of the drink itself.

While there is no particular “best way” to enjoy the Morning Paper, if you’re enjoying it at the Distillery, it pairs particularly well with our Shrimp and Grits or our Fish and Chips, adding a nice citrus and bitter pop with every bite. The drink also pairs nicely with a hearty meal, making it especially popular on our Thursday Burger Night where people can pair this sour + boozy treat with one of our specialty burgers.

To me, this drink tastes best when it can be enjoyed out on a sunny deck with a cool breeze–just be careful on how quickly this one can sneak up on you!

Morning Paper Recipe

  • 1 oz Long Road Straight Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Long Road Orange Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Long Road Amaro Pazzo
  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup

Combine all ingredients into a tin shaker and shake with ice for 12-15 seconds. Strain with a Hawthorne strainer over a large ice cube and garnish with a trimmed orange peel.


The Aquavit Gimlet: My Deserted Island Cocktail
by Jenney Grant, Director of Operations and Education, Long Road Distillers

When leading tours or teaching a class, folks love to ask me about my favorite spirit that we make or my favorite cocktail. My answer is usually: “This is like asking me which of my three children is my favorite; I like all our spirits, different days call for different flavors.”

Although this is not an outright lie – I do have a taste for different Long Road spirits at different times – unlike forcing me to choose between my kids, if I could only take one drink to a deserted island there is always a spirit and cocktail that jump into my mind: the Aquavit Gimlet.

When I was trying to convince Jon and Kyle that they should hire me at Long Road, I remember Jon showing me around the distillery and sharing a sample of Aquavit with me. I had worked in the craft distilling and brewing industry for 5 or 6 years and was always inspired by the growth, product development and quality this young Michigan industry was putting out. Then I tasted Aquavit, with a slight sweetness of red winter wheat, savory spice of dill, caraway, fennel and anise and the bold confidence of a 90 proof spirit. It was beautiful, different than anything I’d tasted from a Midwest distillery. And so, so well done.

It solidified my mission to work at Long Road Distillers. Not only are we a company that chooses to make 100% of our spirits from start to finish with a commitment to using Michigan-grown agriculture, but Aquavit showed me we would also take risks, not settle for doing things half-cooked, and be inspired by the world around us to make world class spirits in Michigan. 

So after leaving my director level job and taking a part-time position at Long Road, I started training and trying cocktails. Long Road has built its award-winning bar program through making every alcohol-based and non alcohol- based ingredient in our bar kitchen. It allows us to pair the distinct flavors of our spirits with one of a kind mixers and flavors.

When it was suggested that I try the Aquavit Gimlet I wasn’t super excited. My grandma used to make pitchers of gimlets; she used the Collins brand powdered gimlet mix and vodka (think Tang, or Kool-aid for alcohol).  A gimlet is usually gin or vodka, fresh lime juice and simple syrup. It’s a 2:1:1 cocktail. I like a traditional gimlet, but with vodka or gin, it’s not the most exciting cocktail on a menu. But it’s always nice, balanced and refreshing. A gimlet with Aquavit on the other hand…

Balance. Simple. Enough. That is what the Aquavit Gimlet is to me. The depth of aquavit paired with bright bitterness of fresh lime and rounded with a subtle sweetness.

My preferred way to drink a gimlet is shaken and served up, in a chilled martini glass with a lime wheel. But in the summer, I enjoy batching it out on my grandma’s deck, and serving over crushed ice, still with a lime wheel. Most people would probably consider a gimlet a summer drink, and I think that is valid, but to me the simple balance of an aquavit gimlet represents an easy choice: uncomplicated, and enough any day of the year. 

Aquavit Gimlet Recipe

  • 2 oz Long Road Original Aquavit
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup

Add all ingredients to shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Double strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with lime wheel.

Alternatively, shake all ingredients with ice and single strain into collins glass. Top with crushed ice and garnish with lime wheel.


Greetings, cocktail enthusiasts and Long Road Distillers fans! We are thrilled to announce the launch of a brand new guest blog series that will take you on a journey behind the bar with our talented team of bartenders. Each post in this series will offer a unique glimpse into the creative process behind the enticing and innovative cocktails you’ve come to know and love at our establishment.

Long Road Distillers has always been proud of our team of skilled bartenders who pour their heart and soul into crafting unforgettable cocktails for our guests. This blog series aims to showcase their expertise, passion, and the stories behind their original creations, allowing you to gain a deeper appreciation for the art of making craft cocktails.

In the coming weeks, you can look forward to learning about the inspiration and techniques that our bartenders utilize to create the perfect balance of flavors and aromas in their cocktails. From the historical roots of the drinks to the personal experiences that shaped their conceptions, these stories will offer a fascinating and intimate look at the world of bartending at Long Road Distillers. Moreover, our bartenders will share their knowledge of pairing cocktails with food items from our menu, providing you with valuable insights on how to elevate your dining experience with us.

Additionally, we’re excited to expand our blog series in the near future to include guest bartenders from various bars and restaurants across Michigan who have been crafting innovative cocktails with Long Road Distillers’ spirits, such as Sovereign Gin, Amaro Pazzo, and Long Road Aquavit. This will not only highlight the incredible talent found throughout our state but also inspire other bartenders and enthusiasts to explore the versatility and potential of our spirits.

Stay tuned for our first guest blog post, which will be published soon, and make sure to follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest posts in the series. We are confident that these personal stories and expert insights will enrich your understanding of our cocktail offerings and inspire you to try new combinations and flavors in your own home.

We look forward to sharing this journey with you as we celebrate the artistry, creativity, and dedication of our talented bartenders and their peers from across Michigan. Cheers to new discoveries and unforgettable cocktail experiences!

Win your Big Game watch party by batching your cocktails. Leave your guests saying, “Batch, please!”

It’s party time. Your guests are knocking on the door, and you’re still frantically running around with the Mrs. Meyers and paper towels, trying to get every surface of your home game-ready. Your oven is beeping (the buffalo chicken dip is done), and your kids are flying around like extras from a Mad Max movie.

Good thing the cocktails are already prepared

Long Road’s got you covered – you batched your cocktails last night. They’re neatly labeled in the fridge and ready to serve.

Batching your cocktails means less work on the day of your party. Your counter will stay clean. No red drips from an errant dash of bitters. Your jigger and cocktail shaker can rest easy in your bar cart. 

Cut your garnishes a few hours before your party. Store them in a sealed container in your fridge, and you have one less thing to worry about. 

Batch your cocktails for the Big Game (or any party)

With the Big Game just days away, we’ve assembled this guide that covers everything you need to know to whip up world-class batched cocktails. Work out the kinks in your batching game this year – here at Long Road, we fully anticipate a Detroit Lions Super Bowl appearance next year. You’ll want to perfect your batching skills before then.

While the Big Game is one reason to batch cocktails, this guide is evergreen. Make your next backyard barbeque, camping trip, or poker night effortless. Batched cocktails are the perfect solution for large parties because they allow you to interact with your guests (or just watch the game).

Take pride in your cocktails and win your party

You know us. We admire a fine craft cocktail made from scratch. We use honest ingredients and take the Long Road. No shortcuts allowed.

Don’t think of batching cocktails as a shortcut. You’ll be putting all the care and artistry you always put into your cocktails. It’ll just be on a larger scale. Use the freshest ingredients you can source, pair them with our spirits, and your friends will insist that you host the watch party every year.

Once you’ve prepared the batched cocktails, you’ll need glasses, ice, and garnishes to serve. 


What you’ll need

Put that jigger and cocktail shaker away. For batch cocktails, you’ll be using liquid measuring cups. You’ll also need a large container to mix the ingredients in.

And don’t forget about a serving container. Consider repurposing an empty bottle of Long Road spirits (remove the label first). You may want a funnel to facilitate pouring the batched cocktail. Ball jars work well as serving vessels, too.

Got a fancy decanter or pitcher? Great. Use it.

Don’t sweat the math

We’ve provided three of our favorite batch recipes (below), but if you are making a large batch based on your own recipe, don’t sweat the math – it’s easy. You won’t need a graphing calculator, and you don’t need to be an accountant at Plante Moran to crunch the numbers. 

Multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you’re making. For example, if you’re aiming for ten servings, multiply the ingredients by 10. So a recipe that calls for 2 oz of Long Road Aquavit will need 20 oz.

Tips for successfully batching your cocktails:

  • Measure your ingredients. Don’t eyeball. Use liquid measuring cups.
  • If you’re batching up more than one cocktail for your party, label your serving vessels so your guests know which cocktail is in which vessel. Displaying the ingredient list is an elegant touch.
  • Don’t add anything sparkling until just before serving. The bubbles will disappear if you add that prosecco, tonic, or soda too early. Pre-batch the other cocktail elements separately, and add the bubbles when it’s time to serve.
  • If you plan on using large ice cubes from a specialty mold, well done. You’re our kind of host. Make several batches of ice cubes before your party, and store them in a large ziplock baggie in the freezer.
  • Store cocktails that are served “up” in the freezer. Don’t add ice. These cocktails are ready to drink. Just pour them into the appropriate glassware and garnish.
  • Store cocktails that are served on the rocks in a sealed container in the fridge.

Old Fashioned Recipe (serves 10)*

The old-fashioned is one of the 🐐 cocktails. This recipe calls for Long Road Straight Rye, but feel free to substitute your favorite Long Road whisky or use Long Road Straight Bourbon.


  • 20 oz Long Road Straight Rye Whisky
  • 5 oz simple syrup
  • 20 dashes bitters
  • Orange peel (for garnish)


  1. Combine all liquid ingredients into a large container and stir. Pour into the serving jar(s) and seal.
  2. To serve – pour the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange peel.


Don’t feel like batching up some Old Fashioneds? We’ve got you! Grab a bottle of Long Road Midwest Old Fashioned, available at all Long Road Distillers locations and fine retailers throughout the state. Each bottle serves at least 4 cocktails! 

Equal Parts Recipe (serves 10)

Equal Parts is a classic Long Road cocktail that combines equal parts of Aquavit, Raspberry Liqueur, lime juice, and simple syrup. Garnished with a lime wheel, this cocktail makes the perfect digestif. Skip dessert (or don’t) and treat your guests to an Equal Parts.


  • 10 oz Long Road Aquavit
  • 10 oz Long Road Raspberry Liqueur
  • 10 oz lime juice
  • 10 oz simple syrup
  • Lime wheel (for garnish)


  1. Combine all liquid ingredients into a large container and stir. Pour into the serving jar(s) and seal.
  2. To serve – pour the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Super Secret Never Fail Punch Recipe

Punches are another popular batched cocktail. Like good jazz, this recipe is a bit more free-form. Put on some Miles Davis and get creative.


  • 1 part sour – usually citrus
  • 2 parts sweet – simple syrups, honey, sugars, sweet vermouth
  • 3 parts strong – a spirit of your choice
    • Vodka, MICHIGIN, Old Aquavit, Bourbon, Sovereign Gin
  • 4 parts weak – water, bubbles, ginger beer, soda
  • Garnish of your choice


  1. Combine all ingredients into a large container and stir. Pour into serving jar(s) and seal.
  2. To serve – pour the cocktail into a highball glass filled with ice. Add a garnish of your choice.


Grand Rapids distillery announces plans for new location in East Hills neighborhood

East Hills Center (of the Universe), Michigan – Long Road Distillers, based on Grand Rapids’ west side, announced plans for a new location coming to the East Hills neighborhood later this spring. The cocktail bar concept will be known as Less Traveled, a nod to the distillery’s way of doing things – with intention, integrity and from start to finish. It will be located at 959 Cherry Street SE.

“Our journey began on the West Side, a place we still call home, over seven years ago” said Kyle VanStrien, Co-Owner of Long Road Distillers. “Our unwavering commitment to taking the long road has led us to this point, where we can now share our craft spirits and cocktails with a new neighborhood on the other side of the river. We’re thrilled to join the East Hills district!”

Plans for Less Traveled include an intimate indoor bar with bar and lounge seating for up to 40 guests. Seating on a new outdoor patio overlooking Cherry Street will have room for up to 45 guests.

“With the evolution of service in our industry over the past few years, outdoor experiences are more important than ever,” said Jon O’Connor, Co-Owner of Long Road Distillers. “Having limited outdoor options at our West Side location, Less Traveled gives us the opportunity to create a vibrant, open-air experience that activates a previously underutilized portion of the block.”

The menu will be a curated selection of cocktails unique to Less Traveled as well as some of the Long Road classics guests have grown to love at other locations. Due to space constraints, there will be no kitchen on-site, but there are plans to offer small snacks for patrons.

Less Traveled will be licensed as an off-premises tasting room for the distillery. All distilling and production operations will still be conducted at 537 Leonard Street NW, where the company operates their distillery and an on-site cocktail bar and restaurant.

Long Road Distillers is seeking Special Land Use approval for Less Traveled from the Grand Rapids Planning Commission on Thursday, February 10. Additional licensing from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and Kent County Health Department will follow in the coming months.

To learn more about Less Traveled by Long Road Distillers, follow along on Facebook (@lesstraveled gr) and Instagram (@lesstraveledgr).

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Long Road Distillers! This year, you have two ways to celebrate: with an in-person tasting experience, or with a to-go kit that includes Mokaya Chocolates and Long Road spirit samples!

We’re hosting multiple in-person tasting events on Saturday, February 12. Sign up today to reserve your seat by clicking here. We’ll guide you and your valentine through the flavors of 4 unique pairings. Each pairing will include a splash of spirit, a sample of a cocktail, and a handcrafted Mokaya Chocolate made locally with one of our spirits.

You can also take the experience home with you! Click here to pre-order your Mokaya Chocolate & Long Road Spirit Tasting Kit To-Go. Each kit contains two 4-packs of Grand Rapids-made Mokaya chocolates and four 2 ounce samples of Long Road Spirits to sample alongside the chocolates.

Place your orders by January 31. Kit pick-ups will be available Friday, February 11 and Saturday, February 12.


There was little fanfare Monday night as the Grand Haven City Council voted to allow Long Road Distillers to set up shop in town.

The approval of a tasting room at 102 Washington Ave. came after the council earlier this month rejected the Grand Rapids-based distillery’s proposal for a similar venue at the city’s train depot building near the waterfront.

Instead, Long Road will open a Grand Haven location as part of the space currently occupied by the Copper Post bar and restaurant.

For months, Long Road owners Kyle Van Strien and Jon O’Connor attempted to win over city officials with their plan for the depot, but Mayor Geri McCaleb and Councilman Dennis Scott disapproved of bringing an alcohol-serving establishment to the waterfront, due to the depot’s proximity to family-oriented activities at the Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium.

Van Strien and O’Connor attended Monday’s meeting but declined to share comment to the council on the new project. Van Strien said he was disappointed with the city’s process for selecting a depot tenant, which the Long Road owners pursued for its historic nature and waterfront locale.

Council members thanked the business owners for not abandoning their quest to come to Grand Haven.

Councilman Josh Brugger said the city was able to expedite the approval process, placing both a public hearing and liquor license approval on Monday’s agenda.

“I’m glad you didn’t give up on us,” Councilman Bob Monetza said.

Monetza’s thoughts were echoed by both the mayor and Scott as the council approved the liquor license 5-0.

Van Strien said the plans for the Washington Avenue venue will be similar to the proposal for the depot, with an emphasis on cocktails and retail. He said the site is at a crossroads in the downtown between restaurants and retail, and will straddle both markets.

There are currently no plans to build a kitchen in the space, Van Strien said, and food options may be limited upon opening. Long Road and Copper Post will remain separate entities, he added.

After Long Road was rejected for the depot space, Van Strien said numerous property owners in and out of Grand Haven approached him and his partner with offers — none of them public listings.

Long Road also has a tasting room in Boyne City, and Van Strien said coming to Grand Haven and other Lakeshore locations are not “mutually exclusive.”

BY SYDNEY SMITH & JOE BOOMGAARDTuesday, March 19, 2019 04:53pm

GRAND HAVEN — Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers LLC hopes to open a new satellite tasting room on the lakeshore.

Long Road Distillers plans to move forward with an offsite tasting room at 102 Washington Ave. after the Grand Haven City Council voted unanimously in favor of supporting the company’s request for a tasting room license from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

The move comes just days after the body rejected the company’s plans to open a tasting room in the city’s historic former train station.

In a text message to MiBiz, co-owner Jon O’Connor said the Washington Avenue location “looks like a good path moving forward” for the distillery, although he acknowledged there were “still some hurdles” the company needs to overcome.

The initial plans call for a 1,000-square-foot tasting room, he said. The company also hopes to add outdoor seating.

If the Grand Haven plans come to fruition, the tasting room will be the second for Long Road, which also operates a tasting room in Boyne City. The distillery has a full-service bar and restaurant at its main Grand Rapids operations.

“The Long Road team is thrilled to join the Grand Haven community,” Kyle VanStrien, Long Road co-founder and co-owner, said in a statement. “We’ve been working to secure a location in or around downtown for nearly two years, and we’re excited to now find ourselves in the heart of the retail and entertainment district of the city.”

An official opening date has not been announced, though Long Road expects to begin the hiring process soon.

Changes enacted last year to the state liquor control code allow distilleries to serve full pours and cocktails at their tasting rooms, where they had only been allowed to offer samples in the past, as MiBiz previously reported.

By Justine Lofton | March 19, 2019

GRAND HAVEN, MI – Long Road Distillers is coming to Grand Haven despite being turned away from a city-owned property earlier this month.

The distillery will take over about half of the space currently occupied by The Copper Post restaurant in downtown Grand Haven, officials with both businesses said.

“It’s got really nice charm and a vibrant retail district,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner of Long Road, of why the company is determined to have a Grand Haven location. “We think we have something to bring to the community in terms of craft cocktails and our award-winning spirits.”

Earlier in March, city council voted down a lease that would have put the tasting room in the city-owned, now-vacant Grand Trunk railroad depot on the downtown waterfront.

The goal is to be open by this summer, he said. Long Road expects to offer handcrafted cocktails, spirit samples, special tasting events, merchandise, bottles and maybe food.

Long Road’s distillery, main tasting room and restaurant are in Grand Rapids. There’s also a tasting room in Boyne City.

During summers, customers flock to the waterfront and business in Grand Rapids slows, which makes Grand Haven a perfect complement, VanStrien said. The company has been working for two years to open in the beach town.

Grand Haven City Council unanimously approved a distillery tasting room license at 102 Washington Ave. for Long Road Distillers during a meeting on Tuesday, March 18. The license application still needs state approval through the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

The city council narrowly rejected leasing the historic depot space to Long Road, with some members objecting to the idea of a distillery so close to the waterfront stadium.

It’s “unfortunate” that the depot will sit empty, VanStrien said. But as soon as the lease was denied, downtown Grand Haven business owners reached out with alternatives. That included the owners of The Copper Post.

“It’s humbling to have that kind of outpouring of support,” he said. “We were surprised at the number of opportunities that weren’t right in front of us – that weren’t listed.”

The Copper Post, 100 Washington Ave., opened during June 2018 in a building that has seen a revolving door of bars and restaurants since 2014 when the Rosebud closed after 12 years. The Rosebud was followed by short stints of Joe’s Wooden Nickle and Grand Haven Brew House.

Business has been good so far, said Cooper Post operating partner Mike Thorp, but he’s not concerned about the loss of seating that will come with leasing or selling a large portion of its indoor space to Long Road. The details of the agreement haven’t been worked out yet, he said.

The Copper Post will keep its patio that has seating for about 75 in addition to the indoor bar area that’s immediately inside the door at the corner of Washington Avenue and First Street.

It is expected that Long Road customers will enter through a door facing Washington Avenue that was previously used but is now covered by the building façade, VanStrien said.

Long Road is expected to be in what is currently an additional dining room for The Copper Post. The space has its own bar and has in the past hosted music entertainment, but does not have its own kitchen.

Long Road and Copper Post officials said they hope the distillery will serve food although it’s not clear if it will be Copper Post’s food or something else.

An archway that connects The Copper Post bar to the future home of Long Road is expected to have a door when the distillery opens, Thorp said.

The distillery will “bolster our brand” and “raise the bar” for Grand Haven’s spirit offerings, he said of why the restaurant owners wanted Long Road in town enough to offer their own space. “It’s a win-win.”

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