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Cheers! A drink that includes spiced whiskey and Michigan bitters

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
The ingredients for an Apple Cinnamon Mule.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Tammy adding bitters to the copper mug.

The copper mug was on the mixing table, but I knew Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings was probably not going to be mixing a Moscow mule. She was about to throw me a curve.

A Moscow mule’s main spirit is vodka. Tammy doesn’t use a lot of vodka (although she did in this last episode you can hear here). This time she decided to use another spirit she doesn’t drink much: flavored spirits.

Rusted Crow distillery from Dearborn has one that I really, really like,” Tammy said.

It’s called Ginger Devil. It’s a cinnamon whiskey. We’ve seen bartenders steep spices in whiskey, but generally speaking, a lot of flavored spirits just add the same kind of hot cinnamon (or other flavor) syrup you might buy at the grocery.

Rusted Crow is doing it differently. It’s doing what some mixologists do except on a much bigger scale. The distiller is adding three different kinds of cinnamon, ginger root, graham crackers, lemon peel, orange peel, and cloves and letting it steep for a while. It gets strained out, and the spiced whiskey is aged.

“When I took my first sip, I was like, oh, they’re doing something really refined here,” Tammy said.

Tammy holding bottle of black ink bitters
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio

Rusted Crow says Ginger Devil pairs well with apple cider and ginger beer. That seemed to suggest a Moscow Mule variant.

Tammy has also been watching another Michigan company named Black Ink Bitters. She thought the company’s Smoked Apple Chicory Bitters would be perfect for this drink.

Apple Cinnamon Mule

  • 2 oz Ginger Devil (spiced whiskey from Rusted Crow)
  • 1 oz apple cider
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 8 drops Smoked Apple Chicory Bitters from Black Ink Bitters (feel free to substitute Angostura or omit)
  • 3 oz ginger beer

Combine ingredients in Moscow Mule mug over ice.
*Stateside originally aired this story on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

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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