Snow is falling, you’re wearing a sequin dress under that parka and it’s time to mingle with close friends and beloved associates for some festive boozing. And since the holidays only come but once a year, get out there and let the merriment begin! Here are some of the best spots in the city to celebrate this season.
2233 Park Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
Centaur is renown for its great cocktails, and some particularly grand martinis. This spot has a evolving menu of drinks, and that means some special concoctions for the holiday season. Try the gingerbread martini to get in the holiday mode, it’s described as a gingerbread cookie in a glass. The peppermint martini – think candy canes – is perfect for the holiday season while a luscious pomegranate martini is for those who are into a more mellow option. It’s still great for this time of year, but it’s not as hardcore as the other flavors.
2130 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216
Sugar House has your back when it comes to spot-on renditions of old classics swirled with some modern twists and turns, and maybe even a high-speed car chase somewhere along the way. The Sugar House makes a mean drink called the cranberry smash, perfect to get the holiday ball rollin’. And there’s punch – actual punch served from a punch bow like the one grandma displayed on her credenza. The Ghost of Christmases in the past have included root beer egg nog punch, talk about a thrilling way to end a killer day. Sugar House has also been known to serve up a tall mug of warm spiked cider – the perfect way to combat a chilly winter eve.
The Oakland Art Novelty Company
201 W 9 Mile Rd.
Ferndale, MI 48220
Every time flurries begin, you can count on two things at the Oakland – a lovely spot to watch the sparkling snowfall outdoors and a Tom & Jerry to chase away the chill. The bartenders are pretty professional at it and serve it up to frosty visitors in a special mug, emblazoned with the drink’s moniker. If that’s not quite your style, have no fear for there is also punch. The recipes vary, but past selections have included mulled wine and a drink known as the “Snowmonk,” which is geared toward blizzard conditions, but might serve you well as a holiday catch-all.
161 Vester St.
Ferndale, MI 48220
As winter approaches, the selections at Valentine Distilling change to embrace the holiday season, creating a special drink menu to reflect the festive time of year. Valentine produces its own vodka, and always manages to incorporate flavors guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit – even if you are prone to a more Scrooge-like approach to the holidays. Try the ginger-berry cocktail or a peppermint candy cane drink that will definitely put you in the mood. There’s also the Winter Valentini – the distillery’s signature winter concoction made with cranberry and lime – that you’ll put to the top of the “nice list.” Stock up on some bottles of specialty vodka to give as hostess gifts to friends, and make sure to grab some for yourself.
St. Cece’s Pub
1426 Bagley Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216
With a roaring fireplace and adult beverages galore, St. Cece’s has everything you’ll need to embrace the holiday season with unabashed cheer. The gastropub’s signature drinks could take “holiday spirit” to an entirely new level. Try the Absinth Riddle, a unique concoction made with absinth, tequila and some other ingredients, pretty much guaranteed to knock your boots off. The Federal is another option for the season, and features blood orange liqueur. Infuse the drink with a citrus flavor, edged out by the inclusion of soda and a healthy dose of tequila to ensure the evening will be set off right. The cool thing about St. Cece’s is that, in addition to its regular menu, it invites a steady roster of food-related pop-ups to throw down on site, creating an evolving dining experience that keeps patrons coming back for more.
After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Nicole Wrona began working with a diverse range of musicians. In addition, she is a freelance writer for numerous publications. Her work can be found at www.metalleaves.com and Examiner.com.