611. Weiss Distilling Company – February 25, 2023 – Clawson, MI

Step into another dimension at Weiss Distilling Company! Otherworldly ambiance and thoughtfully crafted cocktails make this Clawson-based speakeasy a place to experience.

I visited Weiss Distilling early on a Saturday evening, when there was still daylight. I followed the hostess through the tiny lobby and through a sliding elevator door that led not to an elevator but to a tasting room. Suddenly, I was transported into another realm: into this gorgeously moody bar that was the personification of midnight. Orange light spilled from a glowing wall illuminating shelves of bottles; a geometric-patterned mirror wall exuded its own bewitching luminescence. Flamboyant bundles of flowers exploded from the ceiling, and the dark-pattered floral wallpaper seemed to glow in places. A round bar dominated the room and is where I perched that evening, feeling ten times more glam for having stepped into this space.

Weiss Distilling produces a variety of spirits: gin, vodka, bourbon, rum, absinthe, and moonshine. Showcasing these wares is a robust menu of craft cocktails, with cheeky names such as Sexty Texty and Cinnamon Stick-It in Your Sassy. Drinks range from unabashedly fruit-forward (the gin-based Trop Cherry, for example) to more spare and savory (the Tara Strong: vodka infused with dill, sea salt, lemon, and soda water). Intriguing ingredients abound: dragonfruit tincture, rose bitters, a brown sugar-and-balsamic reduction. Nonalcoholic drink options are available, too.

I didn’t realize until writing this post how similar the flavor profiles of the two drinks I ordered at Weiss Distilling were (I guess I have a type!). The Karl Havoc was a delicious concoction of bourbon, orange liqueur, orange, citric acid, cinnamon, and aromatic bitters; the Tinderella, its vodka-based cousin, infused with orange liqueur, orange, citric acid, cinnamon, chocolate bitters, and demerara sugar.

What a treat it was to sit and sip these delightful potions in this delightful portal, removed from the real world. Weiss Distilling is definitely a place to which I want to escape, again and again!

34 E. 14 Mile Rd.

Clawson, MI 48017


162. Two James Spirits – January 24, 2016 – Detroit, MI


In my next lifetime, I am going to come back as one of those pretty, tattooed female bartenders you see everywhere around Detroit, and I am going to tend bar at an establishment just like Two James. A bright, beautiful bar, the perfect mix of gritty (set in an obviously former industrial building) and elegant (featuring vivid floral-themed artwork and metallic orb light fixtures with delicate cutout design work floating around the bar). Small and intimate. And crafting with care a deliciously stiff drink. Damn, was the drink I had there amazing! It was a White Russian, and I think it had a name other than White Russian on the menu – but of course, I can’t recall that name (I need to start taking notes in my travels – this is critical info!).

While I was prompted by the menu description to order this, I’ve heretofore never been much of a White Russian girl – and it’s probably because, I am realizing now, I never had one that was made properly! Two James’ is perfection – due in large part, I am sure, to the fact that it contains its own distilled vodka. The distillery also produces various whiskies, two kinds of gin, a bourbon, a mezcal, and absinthe. So yes! It is the perfect establishment for some chill Sunday afternoon spirits-imbibing.

The day I visited Two James and also Mercury Burger and Bar, January 24, also happened to be the one-year anniversary of me hitting the landmark of 100 local places visited since starting this blog (with my visit to Grand Trunk Pub in Detroit on January 24, 2015)! That I had planned this visit to Detroit on this day was a happy accident – but one that I was pleased to discover.

2445 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216


142. Detroit City Distillery – September 26, 2015 – Detroit, MI


The last stop on my most recent Detroit Day (my simple term for a day where I spend a glorious chunk of time exploring new-to-me locales around the city) was another Eastern Market anchor, Detroit City Distillery. If you are a liquor drinker to any degree, you’ll pretty much swoon over its menu of craft cocktails featuring what it refers to on its website as “small batch artisanal whiskey, gin and vodka.”

The service was great, and the drinks were amazing. I am pretty much worthless for drink recommendations because I can’t remember the names of any of the drinks that we got at this point, and the menu on the website is different than the one featured when we were there. I had a rye whiskey cocktail with fig preserves in it; another friend got one containing pureed watermelon and vodka that was quite good, and my absolute favorite was some sort of concoction with chai tea or something along those lines in it. . . yeah. But check out the drink menu on its website to get an idea of the unique cocktail creations and to be entertained by the names alone (Drunk Yoga! Carpal Tinder Syndrome!).

2462 Riopelle St.

Detroit, MI 48207