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Three mid-Michigan cocktail experts face off for Genever Wars 2018


Genever Wars 2018

July 25, 4 p.m.

Hosted by Bridge Street Social

107 S. Bridge Street, DeWitt

Click here for event page

Though it's scarce in Michigan, experience drinking a liquor from the times of Henry VII and Leonardo da Vinci.

Get a taste of this history at Genever Wars 2018. Serving up the 15th century predecessor to gin, Bridge Street Social, EnVie, and Lily Pearl’s Lounge are bringing their cocktail A-Game to compete for the golden cocktail shaker award starting.

Each venue will produce 3 cocktails for tasting, with the top voted cocktails from each facing off in August. Each cocktail purchase earns a vote.

“It is very much a product that came before gin,” said Justin King, owner and general manager of Bridge Street Social and one of Wine and Spirits Magazine’s best new sommeliers of 2017. “It is more like a beverage, but has a maltier profile than Tanqueray. It is a little more conducive and aromatic,” said King.

Typically thought of as a Netherlands style drink, King said, “The spirit originated in Belgium.”

First getting acquainted with genever six years ago, King said that he could see some friendly competition taking place locally in a cocktail competition.

“The Bridge Street Social staff is very competitive with how to make better recipes and quicker ways to make cocktails,” said King. “These things excite us. I took that as a cue to reach out to them.”

Putting on this event is part of Bridge Social’s mission, said King. “Our goal is to facilitate Lansing’s cocktail scene the best we can, and present cocktails they enjoy. We don't need to make the $19 cocktails you’d get in New York City or L.A.”

King said Lansing’s cocktail culture is budding. “I’m not sure Lansing knows if it’s part of a culture or not, but that is OK. There are people in Lansing that are very adventurous. A lot of this comes from boredom and wanting to do new things.”

Cocktail fans don’t have to travel all the way to Detroit for a superior product, said King. “The Oakland (Ferndale) and Sugar House (Detroit) really changed the game. A lot of people will leave Lansing and go to Detroit, because, 'They have a better scene.' We want to show people in Lansing we can do just as cool stuff as they can do.”

Creating a vibrant and challenging culinary and cocktail atmosphere is important to the continued development of greater Lansing, King said.

“When you go to places that inspire you, it is natural to want to take it with you and put out something that inspires you on a daily basis. This is completely natural. Our goal is to get people excited and for us to stay excited.”


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