A creative cocktail called “Shipwreck Rum Punch”—crafted by mixologist Rob Hanks of Reserve Wine & Food—was named the winning recipe in the 2nd Annual Art of the Cocktail competition sponsored earlier this month by New Holland Artisan Spirits.
“I’ve always been inspired by the ‘old school,’ and thus was born the idea of a seasonal punch, the original of the mixed party beverages,” said Hanks, who has worked at Reserve for two years. “The idea of the punch was something to bring people closer together, so with this I keep the same tradition but by bringing West Michigan as a whole together through one beverage.”
Hank’s “Shipwreck Rum Punch” featured seasonal fruit (cranberries, grapes, raspberries and plums) macerated in New Holland Huron Rum, blended with more pure Huron rum, bourbon, house-infused cherry brandy, black tea, and lemon oleo saccharum. The drink was then topped with Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine from Michigan-based L. Mawby Vineyards and garnished with farm market green grapes.
Twelve bars and venues from the Grand Rapids community created cocktails using at least one of New Holland’s Michigan-made spirits and one fresh Michigan ingredient. The public voted on these cocktails, narrowing the field to the Top Five, which were judge by an esteemed panel of beverage experts on October 15 to come up with the winner.
In 2011, Reserve was named a winner of OpenTable’s Diner’s Choice Awards for Top Wine Lists in the United States – one of only two restaurants in Michigan to make the list. Earlier this year, Chef Matthew Millar was named a 2012 semifinalist in the James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes Region.”
Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids at 201 Monroe Avenue NW, Reserve Wine & Food offers a world-class menu fully embracing the West Michigan farm-to-table philosophy in an elegant yet casual fine dining setting.