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Posted on Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 7:54 a.m.

Grange Kitchen and Bar offers local libations with community supported cocktails program

By Kim Bayer


The "GKB" Manhattan with a house-brandied fresh cherry

Contributor | Kim Bayer

One of the great things about having a CSA farm share is that you get to eat with the seasons. But with Grange Kitchen and Bar's "CSC" program, you can also drink with the seasons and help preserve the taste of summer in your glass.

You've heard of the CSA farm share options in our area, where you pay up front to get a weekly box of fresh produce? Well, some people would rather have a Sazerac than a salad. So Grange Kitchen and Bar has just announced their "CSC" — Community Supported Cocktails —program.

With Community Supported Cocktails, you pay up front to help procure fresh fruit and produce from local farms to enjoy later in your drinks. For your contribution to the house-brandied cherries and pickled garlic scapes, you get a discount. Grange Kitchen and Bar (GKB) describes what they're trying out:

"The short growing season presents a challenge to a restaurant committed to purchasing fresh product from all local sources. A year’s worth of the sour cherries to brandy for our GKB Manhattan must be purchased in a short 3 week growing season. This comes at a great additional cost to the restaurant and also involves additional labor hours, as thousands of cherries have to be washed, pitted, and brandied in this same short time period. And that’s just the cherries. As a member of the Grange Kitchen & Bar CSC, you’ll be helping us keep the fresh juices, muddled fresh herbs, fruit purees, and pickled vegetables the stars of Grange’s specialty cocktails."

If their plans for Community Supported Cocktails don't grab you, you may prefer a more DIY approach — perhaps learning to make your own Shrub Syrups from fresh fruit.

Or maybe what you need is a class from one of Ann Arbor's most knowledgeable cocktail mavens. Tammy Coxen will be teaching a hands-on class on summer cocktails featuring margaritas and mojitos coming up on July 21.

Kim Bayer is a freelance writer and culinary researcher. Email her at kimbayer at gmail dot com.



Wed, Jul 6, 2011 : 10:30 p.m.

What a great idea! I'll drink to that.


Wed, Jul 6, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

The address of the restaurant should be included in the article perhaps in a small contact section at the bottom. The restaurant's homepage does not include their address either, so after a look around "General Info" gives the address. Grange Kitchen & Bar 118 W. Liberty Ann Arbor, MI 48104 734.995.2107


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

At their last 3 health inspections they had 2 critical/10 noncritical (3/2010), 3 critical/8 noncritical (8/2010), and 4 critical/8 noncritical violations (2/2011). They are going in the wrong direction in terms of health violations.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:15 a.m.

And I'd suggest you not be a shill for restaurants that fail to adhere to health department requirements, and yet expect customers to pay high prices for their food. Unless you have some definitive information, your speculation that no one has suffered as a consequence of the health department violations is simply that - speculation (also known as wishful thinking or, sometimes, whistling in the dark). If I am going to pay a restaurant top dollar for food, I expect top-flight service which, at the bare minimum, includes running an establishment with no critical violations and few noncritical ones. If you want to risk jeopardizing your health by eating at a restaurant with multiple (and, I might add, an increasing number from inspection to inspection) critical violations, be my guest (figuratively, of course). For my money, I'll take it to more compliant restaurants such as Jerusalem Garden or Common Grill.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 12:19 p.m.

And yet, chances are good that no one who's eaten there has suffered because of these violations. DBH, I have a feeling you've never worked inside a commercial kitchen or a restaurant before, and really have no idea what the significance of these "violations" might or might not be. I'd suggest your role in life isn't to be a shill for the county health department.