7 Delicious Drinks to Enjoy in Ferndale’s Patio Zone

From local craft beer to handmade classic cocktails, the new social district offers something for everyone
ferndale patio zone - the oakland
The Oakland Art Novelty Co.’s Bourbon Punch. // Photograph courtesy of The Oakland Art Novelty Co.

Downtown Ferndale is inviting visitors to “Take it Outside” this summer at the city’s new Patio Zone. The social district, which operates from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., Thursday-Sunday, allows participating bars and restaurants to sell beer, wine, and cocktails for consumption outdoors. Patrons can enjoy their beverages as they stroll the sidewalks and parks of downtown Ferndale, permitted they stay within one of two zones: the “West Zone” for all businesses west of Woodward, and the “East Zone” for those to the east.

If you’re headed to the Ferndale Patio Zone, check out these tasty al fresco offerings:

Bourbon Punch from The Oakland Art Novelty Co. (West Zone)

This fruity summer concoction is a sweet (but not too sweet) combination of bourbon, Cherry Heering Liqueur, orange juice, and lemon juice. You won’t have to sacrifice the frills for taking it to-go — it’s topped with a fresh orange wedge, a sprig of fresh mint, and a boozy Luxardo cherry. The Oakland Art Novelty Co., 201 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale; 248-291-5295; theoaklandferndale.com

Anita's Kitchen - ferndale patio zone
Anita’s Kitchen’s Medi Mule // Photograph courtesy of Anita’s Kitchen

Medi Mule from Anita’s Kitchen (West Zone)

Those seeking respite from the summer heat need look no further than this refreshing combination of Tito’s vodka, ginger beer, freshly squeezed lime juice, and fresh mint. For an extra kick, imbibers can add a sidecar of pomegranate liqueur and grapefruit bitters. Looking for something more tropical? Try the Anita-Rita: a twist on the classic margarita featuring 1800 tequila, triple sec, freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice, and thyme simple syrup. Anita’s Kitchen, 22651 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-548-0680; anitaskitchen.com

Aperol Sparkler from Assaggi Bistro (West Zone)

If the pandemic has you missing European travel, let this classic coastal-Italian cocktail be the next best thing. Sweet, slightly-bitter Aperol liqueur combines with prosecco and fresh orange to create a delightful aperitif for your summer evening (or afternoon — we’re not judging). Assaggi Bistro, 330 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale; 248-584-3499; assaggibistro.com

j's penalty box - ferndale patio zone
J’s Penalty Box’s Sparkling Cucumber Lemonade // Photograph courtesy of J’s Penalty Box

Sparkling Cucumber Lemonade from J’s Penalty Box (East Zone)

Prairie Cucumber Vodka, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and pure cane simple syrup are shaken and then topped with fizzy soda in this unexpectedly tasty cocktail. As a bonus for those with allergies, the refreshing drink is also entirely gluten-free. J’s Penalty Box, 22726 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-398-4070; jspenaltybox.com

Brooks Baba Yaga from Brooks Brewing (West Zone)

According to Brooks Brewing’s menu, this malty, hoppy American pale ale was inspired by “European folklore and the legend of a boney-legged witch living in a hut on chicken legs.” We’re not sure about all that, but we do think the beer’s aromas of citrus, flower, and pine sound perfect for a hot summer day. Brooks Brewing, 22925 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-307-7772; bbrewing.com/on-tap-ferndale

valentine - ferndale patio zone
Valentine Distilling Co.’s Frozen Floradora // Photograph courtesy of Valentine Distilling Co.

Frozen Floradora from Valentine Distilling Co. (East Zone)

Nothing says summer quite like a frozen drink. Skip the sugar-drenched daiquiris and head to Valentine for this grown-up slushy featuring the distillery’s famous Liberator gin and Detroit’s own Vernor’s ginger ale. Raspberry and fresh lime juice add just the right amount of fruity tang. Valentine Distilling Co., 161 Vester Ave., Ferndale; 248-629-9951; valentinedistilling.com

Market Mary from Rust Belt Market (West Zone)

We couldn’t help but notice that the Ferndale Patio Zone opens at 10 a.m. If you’re seeking a cocktail for your pre- or post-brunch stroll, the Rust Belt has you covered with its take on the Bloody Mary. Featuring local Valentine Vodka, McClure’s Spicy Bloody Mary Mix, and an olive and pickle garnish, it’s the ideal drink to get your day started off right. Rust Belt Market, 22801 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-238-8728; rustbeltmarket.com

For rules and a complete list of participating establishments, visit downtownferndale.com/patio.