The Grand Traverse region is well known for its abundance of wineries and breweries. However, the distilleries in the area pride themselves on the creation of products made from the local and regional-based ingredients. Many of these distilleries not only produce delicious spirits but host tasting rooms that serve up a mix of traditional and seasonal craft cocktails.


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Grand Traverse Distillery
Grand Traverse Distillery opened in 2007 and has made a name for itself in Michigan. The locally grown rye is the secret to what makes many of their spirits noteworthy. In fact, they are one of the few distilleries who purchase their own grains and mill them on-site. The grains come from a farm that is just nine miles from the distillery. The result of using local agriculture is obvious and clear in every sip of these amazing spirits. Grand Traverse Distillery also takes full advantage of being located in the Cherry Capital by concocting a cherry vodka and a cherry whiskey -- both are great for sipping during every season. They also make delicious mixed drinks! 

Sample their spirits at one of their three locations around the region. 

Northern Latitudes Distillery
Northern Latitudes Distillery is located in downtown Lake Leelanau. This establishment is just as well known for its atmosphere as it is for its spirits. With products such as “Deer Camp Whiskey” and “Michigan Dogman Moonshine,” it is easy to see how ‘spirited’ the environment is. Not only does Northern Latitudes Distillery offer tastings of their individual spirits, but their craft cocktail menu is a hoot! Employee-created beverages such as ‘The Squatch’ and the ‘Sassy Mule’ are just as fun to talk about as they are to drink.

Northport Rum Company
Northport Rum Company distills only one spirit -- rum, and they do it well. The distillery is attached to Green Bird Cellars, which crafts wine, cider, and beer on a beautiful property tucked into Northport’s backcountry. The rum is great alone, but the tasting room also offers it served in a homemade punch mix that tastes like summer.


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Traverse City Whiskey Company
My grandmother is one of those people who believes you can cure a cough with a shot of whiskey. I'm not certain of this remedy, but I'm open to the idea of trying it (if needed), especially with one of the whiskeys from Traverse City Whiskey Company. After all, whiskey can cure any ailment, right? This unique tasting room offers samples of its craft spirits, as well as snacks and expertly made cocktails. Traverse City Whiskey Company is located on 14th Street just a little south of Downtown Traverse City.  


The Jolly Pumpkin
Located on the Old Mission Peninsula, Jolly Pumpkin is known for many reasons: their unique and delicious food menu, the craft beer that rotates seasonally and the ‘haunted’ inn. However, did you know they also offer a wide variety of distilled spirits? Fan favorites include a rye whiskey and spiced rum. The stunning structure built in the 1880’s is a great place to enjoy a casual cocktail on a cozy fall day.

What’s your favorite distillery in Northern Michigan?