Detroit and its surrounding areas have many bars, speakeasies and restaurants, with many drinks being made each day. Take a look this list to find the most unique in the city.
302 S. Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Drink: Lychee Martini
The Black Pearl can be found in downtown Ann Arbor, close to the University of Michigan, and has a great happy hour. Martinis range from $9 to $12, but can be found for $6 or $7 on the late night menu from 11 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday and from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday. The Black Pearl’s Lychee Martini consists of “vodka and lychee liquor shaken with lychee juice and garnished with a whole lychee,” and is definitely one of the more unusual drinks in the area. Its Nutty Alexander martini and Midnight Mint, with Godiva liquors, are very good as well.
1439 Griswold St.
Detroit, MI 48226
Drink: 1439 (also called Detroit Brown)
Cafe D’Mongo’s was opened by Larry Mongo as a jazz bar in 1988, but now it plays rock ‘n roll, country and jazz music on different days of the month. Its signature drink, the 1439, combines Captain Morgan rum with Faygo Rock ‘n Rye soda. Another signature drinks is the Detroit Brown, consisting of Vernor’s ginger ale and Crown Royal whiskey and bitters. When Ryan Gosling was in Detroit to film “The Ides of March,” he dropped by D’Mongo’s a few times and even played the piano there.Related: Best Piano Bars in Detroit
2030 Park Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
Drink: Good Morning Manhattan
Cliff Bell’s is another jazz club in Detroit that has a large menu of very unique drinks, including the Good Morning Manhattan, with bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup, raisins and an orange slice on the side. Its Belle’s Blossom drink has White Blossom Valentine vodka, pear puree, lime juice, lemon juice and nutmeg, and is another good choice. Bell’s namesake, John Clifford Bell, was born in 1986 in Cincinnati, and was known for operating many speakeasies during prohibition. He opened Cliff Bell’s in 1935.
2130 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48026
Drink: Varies (changes seasonally)
Sugar House, located in Corktown, boasts an ever-changing cocktail, craft beer and wine menu that differs by season. In the winter, hot cocktails appear on the menu, a nice alternative if you’re looking for something a bit stronger than hot chocolate. On Sugar House’s most recent menu, it offered Johnny Rottenseed, consisting of Laird’s Bonded Applejack, Coca-Cola syrup and orange bitters; Xocolatl Fizz, made with black strap rum, rogue chocolate stout, cinnamon syrup and a whole egg; and Where There’s Smoke, with White Horse scotch, lemon, honey and Laphroiag foam.
Related: Best Hot Drinks in the Detroit Area
3100 E. West Maple Road
Commerce Township, MI 48390
Drink: The Pink Greyhound
Uptown Grille is tucked away in Commerce Township, but is packed every night. Its The Pink Greyhound consists of Belvedere pink grapefruit vodka, grapefruit juice and cranberry juice. Honorable mention goes to The Black Apple, with Crown Royal Black, sour apple schnapps and cranberry juice, all over ice. Uptown Grille has great specials as well, the best being half-off margaritas and buy-0ne-get-0ne-half-off pizzas on Mondays as well as 50-percent off all drinks from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Sundays. Uptown is also known for its extensive beer selection, many of which are on tap.
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Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.