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

A Prime + Proper Progress Report

The Detroit steakhouse is on its way to becoming one of downtown’s destination dining spots

Exploring the Art of Over-the-Top Cocktails

We gave five of metro Detroit’s top bartenders full creative freedom to craft their most avant-garde concoctions. What we got exceeded our highest expectations

Inside the Resurrected Takoi

The restaurant has survived arson and controversy to claim a top spot in Detroit's culinary scene

This Bank-turned-restaurant is Another Reason to Love Clarkston's Dining Scene

The Fed Community is serving up good food in a kid-friendly atmosphere

River Bistro is One of Detroit's Hottest New Restaurants – and It's Not in Downtown

The Northwest Detroit restaurant is just the beginning for the hometown chef
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 7 Michigan Breweries Worth a Trip
    Check out these must-visit locations during your summer travels
  2. To Market, to Market
    Michigan Wine & Cider Festival at Eastern Market May 24
  3. Hour Media’s Real Estate All-Star Party 2017
    Hour Media's Real Estate All-Stars celebrated at the fourth annual Real Estate All-Star Party...
  4. Your Guide to Michigan’s Odd and Unusual Festivals
    We rounded up some of the state’s most niche events, celebrating everything from fishflies to...
  5. Meet the Southwest Detroit Pizzeria Serving Sospeso
    PizzaPlex in southwest Detroit is challenging what it means to be a new business on the block
  6. Dry Times: Looking Back 100 Years After Prohibition
    A century ago, Detroit became the first city in the nation to prohibit alcohol
  7. An Hour With... Candice S. Miller
    Macomb County Public Works Commissioner
  8. ‘Grazie Mille’ For the Memories
    Adventures abound in Italy with Michigan winemaker, grape growers
  9. The Gentleman’s Guide to Style
    From grooming to shopping, a comprehensive directory for stylish men in metro Detroit
  10. Motherhood in Metro Detroit
    From pre-pregnancy thoughts to developing unconditional love, several local women give a glimpse...