Raspberry Liqueur Long Road Distillers

From our friend Nick Britsky on Nick Drinks:

“I got a sneak peek of the Long Road Distillers Raspberry Liqueur release (happening tomorrow). It’s a slam dunk. The spirit is full of Michigan Raspberry flavor and while it is sweet it is way drier than most liqueurs. This allows you to control the sweetness in your cocktails and still have that raspberry flavor. Bravo. Pick this up ASAP because, if it sells like the Nocino, it will be gone fast.

Recipe: Swipe Right
– 0.75oz Dry Gin
– 0.75oz Raspberry Liqueur .
– 0.75oz Rose Hip Syrup
– 0.75oz Lemon Juice .
– Top with Sparkling Wine
– Shake everything except wine with ice and strain into flute then top with Wine.

[Photo Credit: Nick Drinks]

Long Road Distillers


GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Long Road Distillers is releasing a new Raspberry Liqueur with a special evening event at their location on Leonard Street in Grand Rapids.

The Valentine’s Day release event for the special liqueur starts at 4 p.m.

Long Road is also partnering with Mokaya to offer handcrafted chocolates to go with the new limited release spirit. You can get both a bottle of the Raspberry Liqueur and some chocolates to go!

You can check out the Facebook event by clicking here.

SOURCE: WZZM-TV 13 http://www.wzzm13.com/life/holidays/celebrate-valentines-day-with-long-road-distillers/517857429

Long Road Distillers

  JAN 19, 2018

When you come in from the frigid temperatures we’ve been experiencing, mixing up an ice cold cocktail might not seem the best way to end the day. What you really want is something warm.

Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings says that’s why we have the hot toddy.

“The hot toddy is one of those recipes that really adapts to whatever you have around,” Coxen explained.

You can use any spirit you like, although a whiskey or an aged spirit is traditional. The next ingredient should be something like hot water or hot tea. Then add some sort of sweetener and some sort of citrus.

Be as creative as you like!

Tammy’s “Michigan Hot Toddy” uses Long Road Distiller’s Wheat Whisky. She adds a bit of lemon juice, a Michigan maple syrup as the sweetener, and instead of hot water or tea, a Michigan apple cider goes into the mix.

“The wheat whiskey, while I love it, is very lean. It doesn’t have that sweetness that a bourbon has. It’s a much drier flavor,” Coxen said.

She decided the drink needed some extra flavor sweetness, and that’s why she chose the apple cider.

This is a warm drink, but you don’t have to heat all of the ingredients. Warming the apple cider in the microwave or on the stove is enough to bring up the temperature of the rest of the ingredients.

“This is one of the easiest drinks to make. This is what we call ‘building a drink.’ That’s where you just put the ingredients in your glass and then you’re ready to go and drink it,” Coxen noted.

Coxen chose to build her drink in a snifter because she could warm up her hands while holding the drink. She says you could simply use one of your favorite mugs if you prefer.

Michigan Hot Toddy

4 oz apple cider
1-1/2 oz whiskey (we used Long Road Wheat Whisky)
1/2 oz maple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Heat apple cider in microwave or on stove. Add remaining ingredients, stir.

SOURCE: Michigan Radio – http://michiganradio.org/post/cheers-michigan-hot-toddy

Aquavit Long Road Distillers

In the winter of 2006, the unthinkable happened. There was a shortage of aquavit, the Scandinavian spirit that’s flavored with caraway and other botanicals like dill and anise. For Scandinavian-Americans who relied on aquavit to accompany the traditional julbord, or holiday buffet, it was a tragedy.

“It threw me into a bit of a panic,” says Christian Krogstad, Norwegian co-founder of Portland, Ore. distillery House Spirits. “The most important part for me about the holidays is the food.” There’s pickled herring, smoked meats, sometimes the traditional gelatinous whitefish preparation known as lutefisk and many other strong flavors that combine on the Scandinavian Christmas dinner table. “They really require aquavit as an accompaniment,” Krogstad says.

So he set out to make his own, initially only for personal consumption. When bartenders came to visit over the following months, Krogstad would pull out a bottle of aquavit and give them a taste. “They were really captivated by it,” he recalls. Their interest made him decide to bottle and sell what he’d always thought of as a niche spirit.

House Spirits — then just two years old — was one of the first American distilleries to make aquavit. In the last few years the once-niche spirit has become a way for distilleries and bartenders to make a name for themselves in an increasingly saturated market.

When Devil’s Head Distilling in Colorado opened in 2015, aquavit was one of the first spirits they made. Often new distilleries release a gin and vodka for their first spirits since neither require aging but co-founder Ryan White thought aquavit would be a more interesting addition. Devil’s Head was the first to produce it in the state, and found that having one unique spirit opened doors for them. “When we go out to distribute it, the aquavit is the thing that gets us the buyer’s ear,” White says.

Traditionally, Scandinavians drink aquavit neat — throwing back one shot after another throughout the meal. But the bartenders Krogstad connected with immediately realized its potential as a cocktail ingredient. It found its way into Bloody Marys, gimlets, and, once aged-aquavits started being released, Negronis.

“I’m constantly surprised by it,” Krogstad says of aquavit’s growth in popularity. “It’s become not just a Scandinavian or Scandinavian-American thing. It’s now a cocktail thing, and that opens it up to a much larger audience.”

Kyle Van Strien, co-founder of Michigan’s Long Road Distilling, also realized its potential. “If we’re going to survive in the market with a lot of great booze, we’ve gotta do things different,” says. Though aquavit isn’t Long Road’s top seller, thanks to the spirit’s success at beverage competitions as well as its uniqueness among the whiskeys, gins, and vodkas most distilleries are producing, it’s become the spirit for which they are known.

In 2012, there were fewer than 10 American aquavits, says Jacob Grier, the founder of Aquavit Week which involves events and cocktail specials that feature the spirit in 11 states. Five years later, Grier says there are more than 50 American varieties, and they are not just limited to traditional Scandinavian-American communities.

Grier attributes some of the growth to an increasing interest in Nordic cuisine, the sudden boom in Americans traveling to Iceland, and restaurants like Noma.

Before Americans started making their own aquavit, options were limited. As Emily Vikre of Minnesota’s Vikre Distilling recalls, “There were two aquavits imported to the United States and they were rarely seen and probably only bought by Scandinavians celebrating one of our important holidays.” (As Van Strien describes it, “It was a thing you drank twice a year and got blackout drunk with.”) Now, the growth of American aquavit is prompting Scandinavian bartenders and distillers to give the spirit another, less-hangover prone, chance.

A year ago, Norwegian spirits supplier Arcus announced Lysholm No5, an aquavit specifically designed for use in cocktails. Krogstad says he’s been in contact with several people in the Scandinavian beverage industry who are interested in what’s happening with aquavit in the United States. “I think we’re going to see American aquavits exported to Scandinavia soon.”

At least in the United States, any “caraway-flavored distilled spirits product” can be called aquavit under regulatory guidelines. Aquavit gives you a lot of freedom as a distiller,” says Grier. “You can play with all kinds of botanicals and come up with a unique recipe.”

For some, this means making something new. For others, it means continuing traditions. The famous Norwegian Linie aquavit got its name when an early-1800s era sea captain tasted spirits that had been stored on barrels in his ship after it crossed the equator and came back. Two hundred years later, Linie’s barrels of aquavit still travel to Australia and back by ship before being sold in bottles. The company believes that something about the sea air, the ship rolling over the waves, or perhaps the oceanic temperature imparts a flavor to the beverage that can’t be obtained on land. Today’s bottles give the name of the ship as well as the date the batch crossed the equator. It’s a hard story to beat.

When Vikre of Vikre’s Distilling was testing her first aquavit, she brought it to a Norwegian independence festival. “When people were like, ‘I want that and not the Linie,’ I knew we’d gotten it right.”

SOURCE: NPR News, contributed by Tove K. Danovich, a journalist based in Portland, Ore.

MICHIGIN Long Road Distillers

We’ve got a list of 5 local Christmas gifts for the guy in your life who has everything.

1. MichiGin from Long Road Distillery
Long Road Distillery just re-released their new gin and the ingredients are 100% sourced in Michigan. This gin won “Best Gin in the World” over the summer at the Fifty Best competition in New York City and it sold out completely. But now it’s back, and just in time for the holidays!

2. Grilla Grill Wood Pellet Smoker
For the foodie or grill aficionado in your life, this is a gift that will knock their socks off. Located in Holland, MI, Grilla Grills has a line of three wood pellet smoker grills that are the best of the best. And, because you can only buy them directly, the prices are great too. The OG (Original Grilla) has a unique design that will stand out on any deck and the “set it and forget it” approach to smoking allows the cook more time to spend with friends and family this holiday season.

3. Madcap Coffee Subscription
For your coffee lover, look to local coffee favorite, Madcap. They are offering 4 different monthly subscriptions, delivering their aromatic blends right to your front door.

4. Brothers Leather Duffle
This locally owned premium leather company was started by a husband and wife team in 2014. They now have a brick and mortar storefront in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids and a website offering leather goods that “don’t require you to take out a mortgage”. I love this duffle for weekend trips.

5. The gift of an Experience
If he truly does have EVERYTHING, then an experience is the way to go. Experiences abound in West Michigan, but there are a few on my short list: tickets to a jazz concert at St. Cecilia Music Center, a massage at Urban Massage, or a day trip to Caberfae for ski and snowboard fun!

SOURCE: WZZM TV 13 – http://www.wzzm13.com/mobile/article/features/five-local-gifts-for-the-guy-who-has-everything/499447536

Long Road Distillers


The Case for Drinking Like a Viking

Find out why you should be drinking the Nordic spirit aquavit, which is finally getting some traction in the U.S.

It’s a weekday afternoon, and the wife and I are doing shots.

We’re enjoying thimble-sized glasses full of chilled liquor, accompanied by slices of smoked sausage, pickled herring, and bite-size chunks of bagel with lox spread. In between sips, I’m smacking my lips in savory delight. But we’re not drinking tequilavodka, or even my beloved whiskey.

With that kind of spread and the spicy smell of caraway in the air, it can only be one thing we’re drinking: Aquavit.

No need to be embarrassed if you don’t know anything about aquavit. To be honest, before I started working on this piece, I didn’t know much about the Scandinavian spirit, either. The name comes directly from the Latin term for alcohol, aqua vitae, which means “water of life.” Aquavit is a throwback to the earliest distilling era, when rough, raw booze was spiced with a variety of herbs and seeds to make it more pleasing to drink. In this case, the main flavoring is caraway seeds. Seriously, caraway seeds.

“We always like to explain aquavit to folks as the Scandinavian cousin to gin,” says Jon O’Connor of Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His aquavit won Best of Show at the American Craft Spirits Association competition last January. The big difference, of course, is that the dominant flavor of gin is juniper instead of caraway in aquavit.

And that’s where things get a bit interesting. According to the so-called U.S. Federal Standards of Identity, what makes a distilled spirit legally aquavit in America is caraway flavor.

But as Lexi, the mononymous founder of the Old Ballard Liquor Company in Seattle, put it, “there are hundreds of aquavits in Scandinavia, with vastly different flavors, styles, and applications. For straight shots, the aquavit should be lighter in flavor and well balanced. For food pairing and cocktailing, it should be more robust with an aggressive spice bill or wood to compliment the other ingredients.”

Talk about a perfect storm of opportunity for American distillers. Aquavit easily slots into gin or vodka cocktails that are already popular, like the Bloody Mary. “Why anyone would use any other spirit for that drink in particular is beyond me,” wonders Alan Bishop, the distiller at Spirits of French Lick in Indiana, who makes a pleasantly oily aquavit that does, indeed, taste great in a Bloody Mary.

Most importantly, though, aquavit is a spirit that most Americans know next to nothing about. “It’s a blank slate, a tabula rasa,” says Christian Krogstad, founder of House Spirits in Portland, Oregon, which produces Krogstad Festlig Aquavit. “You make a gin, and they may say, ‘I only drink Tanqueray.’ You make a brandy, and they only drink Hennessy. Aquavit… even if you look at the traditions, they’re so varied.”

Dean Browne, the one-man show at Rowhouse Spirits in Philadelphia, agrees. “It’s really a new thing,” he says. I’ve known Browne for years and he’s the only distiller making aquavit within a two-hour drive of my house. “It’s an exciting category for us. All you need is caraway,” he says. “The rest is up to you. Think of where you can go.” His Nordic Akvavit is made with caraway, dill, fennel seed, and orange peel.

I talked to a new aquavit maker, Robyn Cleveland, who is planning on producing his Norden Aquavit in Michigan early next year. He’s been drinking aquavit for about 14 years, got hooked on the unique flavors, and thinks it could be the next big thing. “We want aquavit to be seen in the same light that gin is currently,” he says. “It’s a spirit with a rich history that should be shared and revered the world over.”

Aquavit could be a big thing, if only people got to know it. It’s an almost uniquely food-friendly spirit, and savory in its own right, with a history and tradition that people can take or leave. The food traditions are particularly appealing with the Scandinavian hygge phenomenon enjoying a mild surge of popularity in America. Lexi is on top of that; Old Ballard isn’t just a distillery, it’s a Nordic deli, where they make their own butter, and cure their own gravlax.

If you’re going to try aquavit, you should probably start with a real Scandinavian one. The most familiar is Aalborg, and that’s what my wife and I were day-drinking: clean-tasting caraway-forward stuff that really did make pickled herring appealing. We had some Linie too, the Norwegian stuff that’s aged in sherry barrels, first in a warehouse and then shipped out to Australia and back to cross the equator (the Linie, the “line”) twice. It was smoother, a bit creamy, but still has a caraway hit.

“If someone has never had aquavit, it’s fun to introduce it to them,” says Krogstad. But “if they’ve never had aquavit, chances are they’ve never had pickled herring.” Krogstad grew up with both, and when he found the market temporarily bare of aquavit about 10 years ago (a perfect storm of importer re-sets and re-positioning took all the imports out at once), it seemed natural for him—a distiller by trade—to make some. How else are you going to enjoy your pickled herring?

“You shouldn’t eat pickled herring without aquavit,” Krogstad insists, straight-faced, as he pours some of his eponymous spirit.

In addition to cured fish, in Scandinavia there is actually a whole aquavit protocol. “The standard way is to pour a small glass and toast among friends,” instructs Jacob Grier, the U.S. ambassador for Aalborg and Linie. But there’s a twist, “there is no clinking of glasses. Instead, each person makes eye contact, says, ‘Skål!,’ drinks the aquavit, and makes eye contact again.” And then, presumably, they have a bit of herring.

Grier is also the founder of Aquavit Week, which runs from Dec. 3 through 9. There are events planned in Portland, Oregon, Minneapolis, Chicago, and D.C. I know I’ll be drinking along with, of course, my smorgasbord spread.

SOURCE: The Daily Beast, Lew Bryson

MICHIGIN Long Road Distillers

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – I am sucker for local craft distiller with a great stories. So, last year when I heard about Michigan’s Long Road Distillers, I was all in.

The Grand Rapids-based distillery released the barrel-aged version of their award-winning gin, MICHIGIN® last October. The gin was crafted from 100% Michigan ingredients, including Lake Michigan water, Heffron Farms’ red winter wheat and juniper from Beaver Island.

The distillery decided to set aside a single barrel of OLD MICHIGIN® to release prior to the making of Batch No. 2. The result exceeded expectations, according to Long Road team members.

“The barrel and the gin complimented each other perfectly” said Kyle Shutz, head distiller at Long Road Distillers. “The resulting flavor is a bit more crisp and still has all of the fresh juniper notes that people loved about the original recipe.”

The original Long Road MICHIGIN® was named “Best Gin in the World” at the Fifty Best Competition in July and sold out shortly after the announcement. The second batch of MICHIGIN® was released in early November.

Fewer than 200 bottles of OLD MICHIGIN® was released via the distillery. If you weren’t able to grab a bottle, you can get to taste or enjoy in a cocktail, at the distillery.

Contributed by Rashaun Hall on Liquor.com

Long Road Distillers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) – Now that November is well underway, it’s the perfect time to introduce a new libation that can warm you up from the inside out. Kyle Van Strien and Jon O’Connor from Long Road Distillers joined eightWest with some samples of their latest offerings. They will be releasing their new Long Road bourbon whiskey Tuesday, November 8, including a big release party from 4 p.m. until midnight. Come grab a seat at the bar to enjoy half off whiskey cocktails during the party. Check out the video to see more details about this tasty release party.

Single barrel releases will be put out in some retail locations throughout the state at Meijer, Art of the Table, the Side Bar, Rishi’s Intenational Beverage.

Original post on WOOD TV 8 Website here.

Long Road Distillers

Grand Rapids Distillery Awarded Top Honors at SIP Awards, World’s Largest Consumer Tasting Competition

Long Road Distillers adds to recent international acclaim and awarded a Platinum Medal for Long Road Gin, and Gold Medals for Long Road Aquavit and Long Road Vodka.

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Internationally recognized Grand Rapids distillery, Long Road Distillers, announced three new awards from the world’s largest consumer tasting competition. At this year’s SIP Awards, the distillery won a Platinum Medal, the highest honors, for Long Road Gin, and added two new Gold Medals for Long Road Aquavit and Long Road Vodka.

Long Road’s award-winning line-up of spirits are made from 100 percent locally grown grain and are made 100 percent on-site at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side. Both Long Road Gin and Long Road Aquavit have been recognized as “Best in the World” at recent international competitions; recognition that the Long Road team attributes to several factors, locally grown ingredients.

“Every one of our spirits start from the finest, locally-sourced ingredients,” said Brian Pribyl, Head Distiller at Long Road. “We owe a ton of credit to our suppliers, like Heffron Farms and Pilot Malt House, who continue to provide us with top-notch wheat, rye, corn and barley, grown right here in West Michigan. We’re proud to show off the amazing agriculture we have available to us through the spirits we craft at Long Road.”

Nearly 500 spirits brands from around the world were entered into the 2016 SIP Awards, held in Newport Beach, California. A panel of 98 pre-qualified, consumer judges evaluated each spirit separately, in a double blind manner, based on preset tasting rules, using the SIP Awards’ patented delivery system to ensure a consistent, focused, and accurate survey of consumer impressions in each category. Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals were awarded in 59 categories.

Long Road Gin was the highest rated domestic gin, winning a Platinum Medal, and Long Road Aquavit was awarded a Gold Medal and named Best Aquavit, an honor the spirit also won in Denver, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle.

“We’re extremely proud of our team for all of the hard work they have put in to get us to this point,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “Our no shortcuts approach, combined with quality ingredients and amazing talent, continues to reaffirm our commitment to making world-class spirits right here in our city!”

For more information about Long Road Distillers please visit: www.longroaddistillers.com.

For more information about the SIP Awards please visit: www.SIPAwards.com.


About Long Road Distillers:

Long Road Distillers was born from the belief that making world-class spirits means never taking shortcuts along the way. After becoming the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Long Road Distillers formed relationships with local farmers to bring that mission to Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood. Each spirit produced at Long Road Distillers is milled from locally sourced ingredients, fermented, and distilled on-site. The result is an uncompromised lineup of spirits including Vodka, Gin, Whisky and more. Their spirits, along with a handcrafted collection of cocktails and a wide variety of food can be enjoyed at their tasting room.

About the SIP Awards: Catering to the opinions and palates of the discerning public, the SIP Awards present a unique spirit judging competition, unaffected by industry bias. This pragmatic and refreshing model of evaluation provides an honest stage for feedback and recognition where top brands showcase their achievements. To learn more about the SIP Awards beverage competition, venue partnerships, or for a complete list of 2016 winners, visit www.SIPAwards.com.

Long Road Distillers

The first distillery in Grand Rapids, Long Road Distillers, announced today international acclaim at the 2016 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition. This is the third international spirits competition in which the West Michigan distillery was awarded one of the top honors in 2016. The awards include Best Aquavit, six gold medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal in various packaging design and spirit categories.

“We aim to be different from other distilleries in the way we source our ingredients and craft our spirits,” said Kyle Van Strien, co-owner at Long Road Distillers. “For us to be recognized again for our Aquavit reaffirms our commitment to creating old-world spirits from locally sourced ingredients. We are proud to call Grand Rapids ‘home’ and to bring these awards and high quality spirits to the community.”

Long Road Distillers’ Aquavit, which earned Best Aquavit in the international competition, is a staple of Scandinavian culture, often found at festive gatherings. Embracing time-honored distillation methods, Long Road distillers crafts an Aquavit that’s made in Michigan yet true to its Northern European roots.

Long Road Distillers received the following awards at the 2016 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition:

  •     Gold Medal, Best Aquavit – Long Road Aquavit
  •     Silver Medal – Long Road Gin
  •     Bronze Medal – Long Road Vodka

In addition to spirit taste-based awards, Long Road Distillers was recognized for their packaging design—a category somewhat unique to the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition. This category awards spirits based on their look and presentation. Long Road Distillers received five of 36 packaging design awards – all five Gold Medals – including Best Series, Best Typography, and Best Design Aesthetics.

“We don’t cut corners with our spirits, and the same is true for the way we present them,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner at Long Road Distillers. “We’re excited to share this recognition not only with our team at the distillery, but also our graphic designer and copywriter who have been with us since we first dreamt up Long Road over two years ago.”

The 6th Annual Los Angeles International Spirits Competition was held on May 10 & 11, 2016 at Fairplex in Pomona, California. Participants entered products within the categories of rum, whiskey, gin, shochu, vodka, brandy, liqueurs, tequila, mixers, other spirits and packaging design. The products were judged in a blind format ranked on a 100-point scale by a prestigious panel of 20 world renowned spirits authorities.

In addition to these awards, Long Road Distillers has garnered a multitude of international honors for their line of spirits. The most notable accolades were earned at three major spirits competitions and include three double-gold medals, six gold medals, two silver medals, three bronze medals and multiple best in show recognitions. The West Michigan Distillery was recently named one of the “Best New Distilleries in the World”, and has also expanded distribution to over 200 Michigan locations in the past year.

For more information about Long Road Distillers please visit: http://www.longroaddistillers.com


About Long Road Distillers:
Long Road Distillers was born from the belief that making world-class spirits means never taking shortcuts along the way. After becoming the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Long Road Distillers formed relationships with local farmers to bring that mission to Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood. Each spirit produced at Long Road Distillers is milled from locally sourced ingredients, fermented, and distilled on-site. The result is an uncompromised lineup of spirits including Vodka, Gin, Whisky and more. Their spirits, along with a handcrafted collection of cocktails and a wide variety of food can be enjoyed at their tasting room.

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