There are many ways of finishing bourbon after it has reached maturity. Some distilleries will take their bourbon and place it in a wine cask to impart some of the fruity sweet notes of the wine, like we did with our first installment, the Marquette Cask Bourbon. Finishing a bourbon has become a more common practice in the distilling world in recent years, and our Special Finish Amaro Cask Bourbon is just one example of how this technique can be used to enhance a bourbon.


To get started on the process, we will start with our high proof spirit and start soaking an array of botanicals in it (chicory bark, wormwood, and orris root to name a few). We will let these soak for a day before adding fresh orange peel to the mix. That will soak for couple of days before the botanicals are pulled out and the coffee from Madcap Coffee is added in. We will take this and place it in a used oak barrel. We allow this to age for 3-4 months to impart the flavors of the Amaro Pazzo to the barrel. We will remove this and then refill this barrel with another hand selected Straight Bourbon barrel. This refilled barrel is allowed to age another 8 months and 19 days before it was emptied, bottled, and passed to you as our Amaro Cask Bourbon.


The Amaro Cask Bourbon is a unique take on a barrel finish. At the end of the day though, we just really wanted to stick some coffee in a bourbon as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Imagine savoring the rich vanilla, toffee and caramelized pecan notes of Long Roads’ bourbon while being enveloped in the zesty embrace of bright citrus notes and well balanced herbal tones that are found in our Orange Liqueur. This delightful fusion of flavors is exactly what you’ll experience with Long Road Distillers Orange Liqueur Cask Finished Bourbon, which has been released in limited quantities today. 

**A Necessity Turned Innovation**

Long Road Distillers’ makes all of our spirits from start to finish. It is not negotiable, it is who we are. We utilize Michigan agriculture as the base of our spirits, and finish with high quality ingredients from around the world. We source ingredients, not spirits. This commitment to the Long Road is not only true for our spirits but also our cocktail bars. Everything that goes into our cocktails begins with a spirit made in our distillery or in our dedicated cocktail kitchen. It became clear early on, to excel in making exceptional cocktails, we would need a world class orange liqueur. Starting with a red winter wheat distillate, our distillers then used two different varieties of orange peel and a blend of complimentary herbs to achieve a bright citrus, slightly herbaceous and pleasing dryness to our offered orange liqueur. 

**The Cask-Finished Bourbon**

But the innovation didn’t stop there.  Once we aged and emptied our Straight (meaning aged a minimum of 2 years in first use white American oak barrels) Bourbon barrels, we then seasoned them with our Orange Liqueur. Finally we put the bourbon back in the same barrel to soak up the bright citrus notes of orange liqueur, to offer the finished bourbon a distinct, yet subtle nod to our orange liqueur. Just to recap. 

As you sip this bourbon, you’ll be captivated by its rich, nuanced tones. Make no mistake, this spirit sips like a well-balanced bourbon, but with the addition of a distinct finish .As you exhale, and are hit with a wave of fresh orange zest that lingers on your palate, for just the right amount of time. It is like your favorite party guest, who stays for one more joke, but knows when to go home. 

**Limited Edition Rarity**

Long Road Distillers Orange Liqueur Cask Finished Bourbon is a special release that promises to elevate your bourbon-drinking experience through the bright notes of our Orange Liqueur. It is our honor to release only 20 cases of this finished Bourbon, and we hope you enjoy each sip of it as much as we enjoyed making it, and drinking it. 

Month One: Marquette Cask Finished Bourbon Whisky


We’re excited to introduce Long Road Distillers’ 12-month special finish bourbon series. Each month of 2024, we’ll be releasing a unique cask finish bourbon whisky. We’ll pair each release with an in-depth look at how these spirits have been produced right here on our website, written by someone on our team. 

This first release in the series is the Marquette Cask Bourbon Whisky, something we’ve been working on for years. This Straight Bourbon has undergone a carefully controlled aging process: initially matured for two years, three months, and eighteen days in charred and toasted new American oak barrels, followed by a secondary maturation for one year, two months, and seven days in ex-Marquette red wine casks, sourced locally from a Michigan winery. This dual-phase aging method enhances the bourbon’s complexity and introduces nuanced flavors.

Central to this bourbon is its mash bill, comprising locally sourced Michigan corn, red winter wheat, rye, and malted barley. This selection of grains not only highlights Long Road Distillers’ dedication to regional agriculture but also plays a critical role in defining the bourbon’s flavor profile and chemical composition.

On the palate, this bourbon presents an intriguing array of flavors. It starts with a fruity, bright, and juicy profile, a result of the esters and congeners developed during fermentation and initial aging. The finish is notably dry, a characteristic influenced by the tannins and other compounds imparted by the red wine casks.

At 93 proof (46.5% ABV), this bourbon offers a robust yet balanced bite, indicative of its careful distillation and aging processes.

This series is more than a collection of unique bourbons; for us, it’s a monthly study in the variables of bourbon production and aging. Each release will demonstrate a different aspect of Long Road Distillers’ curiosity in spirit creation, with casks previously used to age products as varied as honey to our Grand Absinthe. Join us as we explore the impact of these variables on flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel.

Stay tuned for our next release: Grand Absinthe Cask Finished Bourbon, where we’ll continue to enjoy the spirit aging and special finishing. In the meantime, we invite you to experience the complexity and craftsmanship of Long Road Distillers’ first release in this exceptional series: Marquette Cask Finished Bourbon, now available at our tasting rooms and select Michigan retailers.

The time of year has come again. Stores are flush with red and green and gold, Christmas music is playing in the background as you shop, and peppermint, gingerbread and nutmeg have taken over the seasonal flavors of all your favorite snacks. The holidays are here. A time for twinkling lights and warm sweaters and joy. 


Three years ago, we had a vision to make the holiday season a little more special at Long Road. After some brainstorming, we decided the best way to bring in the holiday cheer was to craft a Pop-Up menu featuring fun, festive cocktails perfect for spreading the “spirit” of the season. Fast forward, today we’re continuing our tradition and bringing back our pop-up menu with some familiar hits and a few new faces as well. 


Our most eye-catching cocktail this year? The Final Snowdown, featuring grape-infused Avani Vodka, vermouth, lime, white cranberry and orange bitters. Add in some iridescent shimmer, and we have a swirling, snowy cocktail served in a snow globe for you and your friends to enjoy! The mastermind behind every snow globe being served at any of our locations is our Less Traveled Bar Manager, Hayley Bogner. From conception to assembly, Hayley’s efforts into bringing this magic to life were a labor of love. 


With every menu we release, we try to balance honoring the classics and pushing the envelope, and our holiday pop-up menu is no different. A Charlie Brown-inspired flip-style cocktail, a Santa dressed for summer and many more to blend holiday flavors with Long Road spirits. 


If you make the journey to spend some time with us, revisit one of your favorites from Christmas Past, like Santa’s Toolbox (rum, coconut milk, nutmeg, milk, cinnamon), Silent Night (straight bourbon, ginger beer, pomegranate balsamic, basil, brown sugar), or The Gingerbread Old Fashioned (gingerbread-infused bourbon, gingerbread syrup, holiday bitters, candied ginger).


Then, dive into something new, like The Nutcracker Prince (roasted chestnut-infused bourbon, nocino, red amaro, sweet vermouth, aromatic bitters) or Shovel Time (toasted-coconut rum, grand absinthe, pineapple, demerara, pineapple bitters).

Click the links to jump to: Grand Rapids Pop-up Menu; Grand Haven Pop-up Menu; Less Traveled Holiday Features.

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Long Road Distillers, known for their internationally awarded distilled spirits and trendsetting cocktail program, will launch their third annual Happy Holidays Cocktail Pop-Up Menu on Tuesday, November 28. From now through New Year’s, visitors to a Long Road location can expect festive flavors, glistening décor and lots of sugar and spice.

“We’ve had so much fun turning this pop-up menu into a tradition that guests and staff alike get excited for every year”, said Owner Jon O’Connor, “We put together a fun and lighthearted menu that our staff have challenged themselves to create, ensuring they will delight and stun the crowd.”

This year’s festive and whimsical menu features 15 spirited holiday drinks, including several favorites from last year, and three seasonal shots, all to help get you into the holiday spirit. The pop-up menu will be available at the distillery’s West Grand Rapids location as well as their Grand Haven bar and restaurant. A handful of featured drinks will also be available at Less Traveled, the distillery’s Cherry Street cocktail bar. A few examples of cocktails visitors can expect to enjoy:

  • St. Nick’s Vacation ~ Original Rum, Red Amaro, falernum, spiced pineapple cordial, lime and aromatic bitters
  • Snow Machine ~ Nocino, Madcap Coffee cold brew, demerara, almond milk and grated nutmeg
  • The Final Snowdown ~ Grape Avani Vodka, bianco vermouth, lime, white cranberry and orange bitters (serves 4)
  • Figgy Stardust ~ Fig-aged Rum, Pear Brandy, Nocino, lemon, orange, grapefruit, spiced honey butter and a shimmering glitter

“You really can’t beat gathering the people you love and sharing a well-crafted cocktail,” said Jenney Grant, Long Road’s Director of Operations & Education. “We have curated both a menu and a space that will help you get into the spirit of the season.”

Long Road’s Happy Holidays Cocktail Pop-Up will be available beginning Tuesday, November 28 at Long Road Grand Rapids, Grand Haven and Less Traveled. It will run through January 6 at all locations.

One of our founding principles at Long Road is that we take no shortcuts, and for us, that starts with the ingredients. 

We take pride in sourcing Michigan grown ingredients and turning them into spirits worthy of admiration. If you know anything about the history of Nocino, you know that the harvesting of ingredients and the care that goes into it is a part of the “magic” of the spirit. 

Nocino is not only an Italian tradition, it is also the stuff of legends. The green walnut liqueur is said to be ancient, consumed by both the ancient Romans and Celtic tribes. 

The preparation of Nocino is linked to witches and the nighttime, giving it an air of mystery and magic. On June 24th, witches would congregate, barefoot, to collect the unripe walnuts intended to craft their Nocino. The liqueur, heralded for its ability to bring wealth, well-being and health, was to be prepared by expert women who gathered them with their bare hands so as to not disperse the magic of the walnuts before making the liqueur.

Today, its use as a digestif and recreational spirit make it a flavorful addition to anyone’s spirit collection. Our Nocino was conceived of with an ancient Italian recipe in mind. According to our Head Distiller, Jordon Muschiana, whose Italian heritage lends itself perfectly to crafting Long Road’s own Nocino recipe, many modern Italian liqueurs and amari are derivatives of recipes that date back hundreds of years. 

Our foundation at Long Road is heavily focused on showcasing the variety of ingredients we can source from Michigan’s diverse agricultural landscape. This makes using the Michigan native black walnut trees, standing tall in nearby Tallmadge Township and Byron Center, an easy choice for us to combine with our base spirit. 

The initial trial batches were made with varying amounts of clove, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg as the main ingredients. 

“The base neutral spirit with its heavy body and light vanilla notes plays along readily with baking spices,” Jordon said. “We tried a variety of other botanicals in an attempt to put a unique  spin on the classic Nocino before we eventually landed on using the main four baking spice ingredients with very specific soaking regimens that give you the Long Road Nocino that we enjoy today.” 

Check out a few Nocino-based cocktails that you can enjoy at home this holiday season! 

Sour Italian

Ingredients needed: Long Road Straight Rye Whisky, Long Road Nocino, lemon juice, simple syrup.

Tools needed: Jigger, shaker, strainer, cocktail glass.

  1. Add 1.5 oz Rye Whisky to shaker.
  2. Add 1 oz Long Road Nocino.
  3. Add 3/4 oz lemon juice.
  4. Add 1/4 oz simple syrup.
  5. Add ice and shake vigorously.
  6. Strain into cocktail glass.
  7. Garnish with lemon peel.
  8. Enjoy!

The Novena

Ingredients needed: Long Road Aquavit, Long Road Nocino, sweet vermouth


  1. 1 oz Long Road Aquavit
  2. 1 oz Long Road Nocino
  3. 1 oz sweet vermouth

Pour all three ingredients into a rocks glass. Add ice and stir to chill. Garnish with orange peel twist and enjoy!

Nocino Negroni

Ingredients needed: Long Road Nocino, Long Road Gin, Long Road Red Amaro.

Tools needed: Mixing glass, bar spoon, jigger, strainer, glass.

  1. Add 1 oz Long Road Nocino to mixing glass.
  2. Add 1 oz Long Road Gin.
  3. Add 1 oz Long Road Red Amaro.
  4. Add ice and stir evenly.
  5. Strain into glass over large ice cube.
  6. Garnish with lemon twist.
  7. Enjoy!

A Note from Long Road: Recently, we launched a Guest Blog series, “Behind the Bar with Long Road”, to take you on a journey behind the bar with our talented team and to give you a glimpse into the creative process behind innovative and enticing cocktails that feature our spirits. Be sure to check out our earlier posts by Jenney Grant, Joey Robles-Zepeda, Carley from Cocktails with Carley, Connor Everhart and Rob Hanks of Nightwatch Lounge. This week’s post comes to us from another talented Long Road bartender, Hayley Bogner. You can find Hayley mixing it up behind the bar at the distillery on Leonard Street and at Less Traveled on the East side of town. 

Behind the Bar with Long Road: A Brother’s Favorite Order Inspires Hayley
by Hayley Bogner, Bartender, Long Road Distillers & Less Traveled 

Oooh, sweet summertime. Out of all the places I’ve been, nothing compares to warm, sunny days in West Michigan. Fresh Lake Michigan water, bare feet in the sand, burgers on the grill, backyard bonfires, the lake breeze blowing through your hair, friends with boats-you just can’t beat it.

The warmer weather has me reminiscing on all the summer memories I’ve made throughout my life here in the mitten. 

One of my all time favorite childhood memories would have to be trips to the local ice cream shop with my siblings. The excitement that lit up our eyes and our sun-kissed, rosy cheeks was always enough to make my mom give in and load us up into the car-even if it would be the third ice cream run of the week.

We would all carefully examine the menu posted up next to the ordering window, changing our minds a thousand times before finally making a decision.

My little brother, on the other hand, always knew exactly what he wanted well before we arrived-a chocolate banana malt. Time after time, his order never changed. Soon enough, his order, tried-and-true, became my frequent order, too. 

Fast forward to our adult years, this milkshake is still my brother’s go-to ice cream order, and a core memory of warm summer days with loved ones. When I think of summertime in Western Michigan, a banana malt is one of the very first things to cross my mind.

So obviously, with my ever growing passion for contemporary cocktail creation, I needed to reimagine and recreate this summer treat. Maintaining that nostalgic, bold, rich banana flavor profile-without the sugar and dairy overload-is just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you longing for another.

After lots of contemplation, trial and error, and a slight obsession to create the perfect representation of my brother’s favorite indulgence, my vision became reality. That’s when “Oh Brother” was born.

Oh Brother Recipe

  • 2oz Roasted Banana Bourbon
  • .75oz Banana Almond Milk
  • .5oz Malted Barley Syrup
  • 2 dashes Vanilla Cacao Nib Tincture

Build all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and double strain into a rocks glass over a single large ice cube (or a king cube as the LR fam calls it).

For the garnish, sprinkle sugar atop a frozen skewered banana slice and torch the sugar until it’s golden brown and brûléed to perfection.

Close your eyes, take a sip, and imagine a summer filled with all the chocolate banana malts you could possibly dream of.


A Note from Long Road: Recently, we launched a Guest Blog series, “Behind the Bar with Long Road”, to take you on a journey behind the bar with our talented team and to give you a glimpse into the creative process behind innovative and enticing cocktails that feature our spirits. Be sure to check out our earlier posts by Jenney Grant, Joey Robles-Zepeda, Carley from Cocktails with Carley, and Connor Everhart. This week’s post comes to us from Rob Hanks. No stranger to the cocktail scene in West Michigan, Rob has been a leader in the industry for many years, including an active stint with the Grand Rapids chapter of the US Bartender’s Guild. Follow along with Rob’s work on Instagram @rhanks23

Behind the Bar with Long Road: Rob Hanks Shares His Love of Bitter with the Autostrada Highball
by Rob Hanks, Proprietor, Nightwatch Lounge

Long Road Distillers opened in 2015 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has been embracing long held drinking cultures from around the world since then. My favorite is in their Amaro Pazzo.

Amaro is a category of Italian bittersweet liqueurs that range in flavor anywhere from bright and citrusy to dark, rich, and brooding, depending on the particular family recipe. Partnering with Long Road on this product is another widely celebrated Grand Rapids based beverage company, Madcap Coffee Roasters. By working together to create the list of botanicals that complement the specific roast of coffee selected, Amaro Pazzo was born with its rich and distinctive coffee-forward flavor, bolstered with rhubarb, citrus peel, and other proprietary herbs and spices.

Amaro can be difficult to use for people newer to the category, though its uses are broad. It can commonly be swapped in for sweet vermouth in cocktails such as a Manhattan or a Red Hook and brings a more bitter backbone to the cocktail while adding more depth and intensity. It can conversely be used in tropical cocktails effectively for cocktails similar to a Jungle Bird which combines pineapple, lime, dark rum, and Italian Aperitif such as Campari as a substitute for the aperitif, or even simply with Tonic water and a lemon wedge for a low ABV highball.

To enjoy this spirit for a long time try one of my favorites, the Autostrada Highball.

Autostrada Highball Recipe:

  • 1.5oz Long Road Distillers Amaro Pazzo
  • .5oz Long Road Distillers Vodka
  • .25oz Limoncello
  • High Quality Tonic water (I use Fever Tree)
  • Half pinch of salt

Combine Amaro Pazzo, limoncello, and half pinch of salt to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds and strain into a Highball glass on fresh ice. Top with Tonic water and garnish with a lemon wedge.


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

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!

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