November 28, 2023

Ethanology’s Crimson Commander

Bottoms Up
By Anna Faller | Aug. 7, 2021

What elevates a cocktail from “ehh” to “exceptional?” At Ethanology, in Elk Rapids, the secret is — spoiler alert! — scientific research. Well, that, and a years-long commitment to top-quality tipple. Founded by Michigan natives, Nick and Geri Lefebra, Ethanology was born as a retirement project before an interstitial Torch Lake summer turned a pipe dream into actual planning. Fast-forward a few years, and this alchemical power-couple’s cocktail program has completely redefined the structure of spirits. “It’s really about making every ingredient about building cocktails from the ground up,” says Nick, “and using ingredients that are sourced locally.” Since it opened its doors in 2017, Ethanology has prided itself on a beverage concept based on vertical integration. And their berry-red summer cocktail feature — the aptly named Crimson Commander” — is no exception. Bartenders start with Ethanology’s own Ferox barrel-aged summer gin, a rare and wild gin crafted with native botanicals like foraged northern Michigan juniper, staghorn sumac, yarrow flowers, and burdock root, blended with with hibiscus-steeped tea — “that’s what gives us that really vibrant, rich-red color,” says Nick — before finishing this not-too-sweet sipper with house-made currant Crème de Cassis and a squeeze of lime. Served in a Collins glass and garnished with a sprig of berries and fresh mint, we’d pair this one with a hammock and a sunset on the porch. $14. Find the Ethanology Spirit House and Distillery at 125 Ames St. in Elk Rapids. (231) 498-2800.



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