While most metro Detroit cocktail bars were forced to close their doors for dine-in service this summer, a swanky bar and lounge was preparing to make its debut in Plymouth. Opened in mid-June, The Ebenezer stepped onto the restaurant and bar scene during a time when most establishments turned their attention to offering cocktails to go.
“Food,” says co-owner Andi Numan, “that’s what allows us to be open.” A menu of dishes, such as stone fruit salad and ceviche, charcuterie, and a bone-in short rib, coupled with a 4,000-square-foot space that allows the team to adhere to social distancing mandates with ease, has afforded the bar the privilege of opening and remaining open during the pandemic.
Still, it’s the beverage program and sleek speakeasy feel that lend the place its appeal. Designed by Birmingham design company Ron & Roman, the underground lounge is wrapped in vintage-inspired wallpaper, and filled with brown leather tufted couches and wingback chairs, evoking a Prohibition-era essence unlike the many sports bars native to the surrounding city. The bar program matches this opulent energy.
“I don’t want anybody to have to sit down and flip through a bible of cocktails,” Bar Manager Paul Thomas says of The Ebenezer’s carefully curated, bourbon-forward craft menu. “We’ve got classics, like an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan; we elevate the middle with a few fancy house cocktails; and then we’ve got a few that are over-the-top — because I like to show off a little.”
Here, Thomas shows his skills with a lavish way to warm up for fall with a layered chai-infused libation. “Even though it’s not served hot, this is a good, rich cocktail that’s comforting and a little spicy,” he says. “It will warm you right up.”
How to Make The Ebenezer’s Chai-infused Cocktail
1 ½ oz. chai tea-infused vodka
½ oz. Velvet Falernum
½ oz. Pedro Ximénez Sherry
¼ oz. heavy vanilla
½ oz. almond milk
Cinnamon stick for garnish
Heavy Vanilla Simple Syrup *
6 oz. pure vanilla extract
4 cups sugar
4 cups water
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add sugar. Let sugar dissolve completely, then remove the mixture from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool, then refrigerate overnight or until chilled.
First, rim a coupe glass with the maple sugar. Pour the vodka, Velvet Falernum, sherry, and simple syrup into a shaker and shake vigorously with ice. If you shake hard enough, the Falernum will recreate an egg-white foam texture. Strain into your coupe glass. Then, hover a teaspoon upside down over your drink and pour the almond milk over the back of the spoon slowly. This is a trick that bartenders do to separate layers of cocktails, and should allow the milk to float on top of your drink. Top with fresh ground cinnamon and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
For more on The Ebenezer, visit theebenezerplymouth.com.