March 3, 2024

Dirty Thirty

Bottoms Up
By Lynda Wheatley | May 12, 2018

You might not expect a lace-curtained tea shop to bring the heat. But the speakeasy hidden behind Traverse City’s Teetotalers does exactly that — once your password gets you permission to step behind the bookcase anyway. Inside the moody, elegant space done up in hyper-detailed period decor (think: small doors befitting the smaller statures of the ’20s, Waterford crystal glassware, Victorian and Eastlake furniture, and more), you’ll find the Dirty Thirty, a cocktail that’s taken not only the bygone era’s name for cougars — then, unmarried 30-somethings on the prowl — but a bit of their kind’s characteristics, too: Sweet on the lips, scandalously hot on the tongue, and just a touch exotic for their cultivated habitat. Credit a surprising squirt of tamarind juice amid a draw of hot, hot, hot house-made habanero-infused tequila, bee shrub syrup (so named for Teetotaler’s in-house alchemist and Dirty Thirty inventor, nicknamed “B”), and a sharp squeeze of lemon juice under a generous lemon-flower garnish. If you think you don’t like spicy, trust us, the balance of sweet and sour that follows the burn only makes you thirsty for more. Rawr. $14. Call, Yelp, or sweet talk the doorman to receive your password to enter. (231) 753-8841,



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