The Secret of Success

What can turn an ordinary dish into something Extraordinary? We asked some local experts to share what makes their creations unique


Published:

(page 1 of 8)

Have you ever wondered what makes your favorite dishes or drinks on menus across metro Detroit taste so good? Maybe you tried to figure it out on your own and replicate it at home, but without success.

We chatted with some of the area’s top chefs, restaurants, and distilleries to get the secret weapons in their arsenal. Here are some of their go-to picks to help you take your dish to the next level.

Railroad Gin (Summer Blend)

Secret Ingredient: Michigan White Pine and Blue Spruce

From: Detroit City Distillery

Picture sipping a gin and tonic on a summer day. Now imagine a gin sourced from Michigan farms with botanicals from Eastern Market. That’s Detroit City Distillery’s Railroad Gin. It and their other small-batch liquors start with local grains, says John “J.P.” Jerome, one of the distillery’s founders. He previously worked for Bell’s Brewery, then got a Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from Michigan State University. While making gin isn’t as complicated as, say, genome sequencing, it’s “a mix of science and art,” he says, adding that botanicals in gin (juniper, coriander, star anise, etc.) aren’t secret. “It’s in the blending.” Detroit City released six small batches on “World Gin Day” June 13. There are barrel-aged gins, a South African tea-infused gin (to honor a bartender’s grandmother), and one with Michigan apples. Jerome is excited about a Michigan white pine and blue spruce version. Those who don’t like gin because it tastes like pine will “really hate this,” he says with a not quite mad-scientist-like laugh. “Summer of Gin” culminates with a $1,000 “Ginsmith Championship” on Aug. 31. — Steve Wilke

​2462 Riopelle St., Detroit; detroitcitydistillery.com; 313-338-3760

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

My Two Christmases

An Armenian-Iranian, Detroit-based writer reflects on transposing the holiday across continents

Sanctuary for the Senses

Castalia in Midtown offers a cocktail experience unlike any other

Local Pie Makers Offer Variety of Fillings

Area bakers offer alternative fillings for holiday pastry.

A Taste of Paris

Cannelle Patisserie chef Matt Knio’s baked goods are turning up in restaurants and markets across metro Detroit

The Big Dipper

Garden Fresh Gourmet is a shining star in the metro Detroit Food scene
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Makings of the Shinola Hotel
    When the Detroit brand’s first foray into hospitality opens its doors, it’ll offer customers...
  2. My Two Christmases
    An Armenian-Iranian, Detroit-based writer reflects on transposing the holiday across continents
  3. New Year’s Eve, Brooklyn Style
    Tips for celebrating 2019 from the pros at Brooklyn Outdoor
  4. Main Review: SheWolf
    Born in Detroit but inspired by Rome, SheWolf takes diners on a culinary journey
  5. Meet the Makers: Tait Design Co.
    How an after-work hobby ascended to a booming business
  6. The Art of Gifting
    Metro Detroit tastemakers from all walks of life offer a glimpse of what’s on their holiday...
  7. Comeback Catering
    Dish, in Detroit, pushes through hard times with consistently delicious food
  8. Precious Metals
    Layering necklaces, stacking rings, and placing bangle upon glitzy bangle: a definitive guide to...
  9. Food Recipe: Braised Beef Brisket
    Chef Aaron Lowen, of Empire Kitchen & Cocktails, shares one of his favorite holiday recipes
  10. An Hour with ... Ricki Friedman
    Founder, Break the Weight