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A cocktail for the Mackinac Island Policy Conference

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Thinking about the upcoming Mackinac Island Policy Conference, Tammy Coxen with Tammy's Tastings offers a new riff on the cocktail called the Conference. The original Conference cocktail originated at Death and Co. in Manhattan's East Village. In turn, that drink is a spin off of the classic Old Fashioned.

The changes made to make the Michigan Conference include substituting Michigan maple syrup for the sugar in the drink, and using chocolate bitters as a playful nod to the fudge shops found on Mackinac Island. 

Instead of a single base spirit, the Michigan Conference uses a variety of spirits, one building on the next.

Among those spirits isJourneyman Spirits' Last Feather Rye and Two James Spirits' Grass Widow Bourbon.

Our prediction: some clever bartender on the Island will offer the Michigan Conference cocktail when the Detroit Chamber of Commerce Mackinac Island Policy Conference begins May 28.


Here's the recipe:

The Michigan Conference

1/2 oz. rye (Journeyman)
1/2 oz. bourbon (Two James)
1/2 oz. apple brandy
1/2 oz. brandy or cognac
barspoon (1/8 oz.) Michigan maple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash chocolate bitters

Stir all the ingredients in a stirring glass (about 50 stirs). Strain into an old fashioned glass with ice, and serve. Garnish with an orange and lemon twist if desired.


Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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