Detroit and its surrounding areas might be well-known for its breweries, but its restaurants can also make a mean cocktail. Check out this list for the best in the area.
2130 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48026
Sugar House is located in Corktown, and has a huge cocktail menu – pretty much anything you order there is unique. Prices range from $7 (a simple daiquiri) to $14 (the “Zombie” – Blackstrap rum, aged rum, overproof jamaican rum, lime, grapefruit, cinnamon, falernum, grenadine, absinthe, & angostura), and the bar also has a food menu (mostly appetizers and shareables). Sugar House is open 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, and 5 p.m to 2 a.m. the rest of the week.
2200 W. Lafayette Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48216
If you want a good cocktail but you’re also on a budget, Green Dot Stables is the place to go; make sure to pair it with a few of their sliders, too, which will run you $2 to $3 each. Cocktails cost $3 each, and run from classics, like their mint julep, to custom cocktails like the Green Dot Wallbanger (peach vodka, orange juice). Try the Gin Promise (gin, cranberry, lime, strawberry) and the Horse’s Neck (brandy, ginger ale, bitters, and lemon), as well. Street parking is available nearby.
201 W. 9 Mile Road
Ferndale, MI 48220
If you’re walking on 9 Mile in Ferndale, you might pass The Oakland without realizing it – its door says “The Oakland Art Novelty Company,” and it definitely has a speakeasy vibe. Once inside, that vibe continues – it has a dark but comfortable interior, and makes you feel like you’re in the 1920s. Its cocktails are made with all sorts of ingredients, including cayenne pepper, and range from $10-13 each; try the Home Sweet Homes (apple brandy, VSOP cognac, cardamaro, coffee pecan bitters, acid phosphate, peppercorn-clove syrup) or the Anna Marie (Elijah Craig 12, aperol, bourbon matured blis maple syrup, lemon, orange bitters) to start.
Related: Best Cocktail Bars in Detroit
4421 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
Ghost Bar is located on the top floor of The Whitney, a Detroit restaurant with a rich history. One of its signature cocktails is The Witching Hour, which includes Valentine white blossom vodka, lemoncello, Chambord, and fresh lemon. The menu also includes The Boulevardeir of Woodward (Woodward Reserve whisky, Campari, sweet vermouth); Valentine’s Vesper (Liberator gin, Valentine’s vodka, lillet); and The Spirited Sour (Liberator gin, mimosa, lime juice, lemon juice, Brancott sauvignon blanc), as well as a few others. If your drinking companion isn’t a fan of cocktails, Ghost Bar also has a selection of Michigan craft beers.
2462 Riopelle St.
Detroit, MI 48207
Detroit City Distillery can be found in Eastern Market, and makes small batch “artisanal whiskey, gin and vodka using the finest local ingredient sourced directly from farms near [its] distillery and tasting room.” This fall, the distillery launched an additional 20,000 square foot facility in order to make bourbon and rye. Cocktails range from $9 to $12, and list is extensive; you can also do a spirit flight or gin flight for $12. The distillery also has a limited small plate menu, which includes cheese, smoked fish, and popcorn with truffle oil, sea salt, and sriracha. Try the I’m With Jay (Elvethea gin, thyme, lychee, absinthe, lime); the Kokiri Forest (Peacemaker gin, chartreuse, sake, green tea, lime, lime garnish); or the Breaking Even (Gilded Age vodka, grapefruit, apple shrub, apple garnish, lemon) to start.
Related: Best Cocktail Happy Hours in Detroit