Thank you very a lot! We’re celebrating Michigan Radio in Lansing with a new cocktail called Lansing

Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings heard that Michigan Radio now has a new signal. It’s 89.7 in Lansing.

“That worked perfectly because I just got my hands on a bottle of Lansing’s American Fifth Spirits that I’ve been trying to get a bottle of for a while,” said Tammy.

Now I was confused. (Those of you who follow the Cheers! Team as they explore the Michigan craft cocktail world probably won’t be surprised at this.)

The bottle label read “Fernet”. I thought Fernet was a brand name.

“No. Fernet Branca is a special brand that you love. That’s why I tried to get this bottle,” said Tammy.

Lester Graham

Tammy Coxen stirs a drink with Lansing, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids spirits.

She went on to explain that Fernet is a general category of Amaro, those typically Italian bittersweet liqueurs. But everyone can make their own remote anywhere. That’s what American Fifth Spirit did.

It doesn’t taste exactly like Fernet Branca. The Lansing version isn’t that minty, not that bitter. “Not quite that slap in the face,” said Tammy.

Which, it turns out, works better in a cocktail, in their opinion.

She stirred a cocktail that included Fox River Rye from Ann Arbor Distilling, Lansing American Fifth Fernet, and Clockwork Orange Liqueur from New Holland Spirts in Grand Rapids, and hit some of the cities where Michigan Radio has a radio signal.

After everything was put together (see recipe below), it was time for a taste.

There is a classic cocktail called Toronto that has Fernet Branca and rye. This wasn’t that, but it was something like that. The Michigan Fernet and the orange liqueur make it stand out. I suggested she name it Lansing.

Tammy thought it was a great idea. You’re welcome, Lansing. 😉


Lester Graham

The Lansing.


1 oz rye whiskey (Ann Arbor Distilling)

3/4 oz Fernet (American Fifth Spirits)

3/4 oz orange liqueur (New Holland Clockwork Orange)

1/4 oz simple syrup

Garnish: orange twist

Combine the ingredients in a mixing vessel. Add ice and stir very well. Strain in coupe or martini glass. Garnish. (Note: if you aren’t using these particular brands you will likely have to play around with proportions as other Fernet strains can be stronger.)

Tammy Coxen and Lester Graham are the authors of Cheers to Michigan: A Celebration of Cocktail Culture and Craft Distillers from the University of Michigan Press. The book is based on the Cheers! Heard episodes on Michigan radio.

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