Vodka ROX brings brands, bars, and craft cocktails together

Vodka, Vodka, Vodka

Heard of Whiskey Business, Tequila Mundo, Sip Savor Stomp, or Summer Beer Fest? The same folks (namely, Metro Times) are adding another event to their roster, a vodka tasting that will bring some of the world’s best brands together with local bars and restaurants to create a selection of craft cocktails, all for your tasting pleasure.

Vodka Rox takes place at the Royal Oak Farmers Market on Friday, Oct. 10 from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Only VIPs will be admitted from 7 to 8 p.m., a ticket that will cost you $65, but will get you a more intimate tasting experience and one-on-one time with brand ambassadors to ask questions about the product and learn a little more about what it is you’re drinking. General admission tickets are $45 and a great choice for the vodka novice who’s just looking to have a good time.

At time of press nine local restaurants are participating in the event, each crafting a selection of cocktails from vodkas that will be available for tasting at the event. Sabrage, Local Kitchen, The Stand, Fifth Avenue, D’Amato’s, Goodnite Gracie’s, Blackfinn, Grasshopper Underground, and Firebird will all be on-hand, some serving up their signature cocktails and some with special potions they’ve concocted just for the event.

We took some time to visit four of the establishments that will be mixing drinks at Vodka Rox. D’Amato’s, Local Kitchen and Bar, The Stand, and Fifth Avenue let us preview the tasty beverages they’re planning to serve. From classic to comfortable to citrusy and sweet, there’s something to fit the tastes of just about everyone.


222 Sherman Dr, Royal Oak; 248-584-7400;

D’Amato’s is an Italian restaurant with a great bar filled out by their house-made infused spirits. They’ll be showcasing those unique booze at Vodka Rox where guests can sample Tito’s Handmade Vodka that’s been infused with strawberries.

“Strawberry Mule”

1.5 ounces house-made strawberry-infused Tito’s Handmade Vodka


1 splash fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Serve in copper mug.

Local Kitchen and Bar

344 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale; 248-291-5650;

The motto at Local Kitchen and bar is "well crafted comfort." That aptly sums up their philosophy of serving classic, hand-crafted dishes and drinks. And what's more classic and comforting than Grandma's jam? Sample this cocktail at Vodka Rox or their intimate and cozy Ferndale location.

"Grandma's Jam"

1.5 ounces Finlandia Cranberry Vodka

.75 ounces Cointreau • .75 Concord grape jam syrup

.5 Barolo Chinato

1 ounce ruby port

Float with M. Lawrence Sparkling Wine.

Pour over ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

The Stand

34977 Woodward Ave, Birmingham;


The Stand is a gastro bistro that focuses on local ingredients and organic flavors in everything they do and the swanky Birmingham establishment is welcoming to all. They will be showcasing several cocktails at Vodka Rox, the Hand Stand being just one of them.

"Hand Stand"

2 ounces Hangar 1 Buddhas Hand Vodka

Half ounce Velvet Falernum • Half ounce Apperol

Half ounce lemon juice

Serve in a coupe. Garnish with lemon peel.

Fifth Avenue

215 W. Fifth St., Royal Oak; 248-629-9423;

Billiards, live music, and big TVs are the name of the game at Fifth Avenue, but they also carry an impressive selection of Michigan crafts and can shake up a great cocktail.

"Twisted Shirley"

1.5oz Grey Goose La Poire • 1 tablespoon pear preserves

Half ounce of peach nectar/purée • Splash of apple cider vinegar

Garnish with mint sprig and serve with a cinnamon sugar rim.

Alysa Zavala-Offman

Alysa Zavala-Offman is the managing editor of Detroit Metro Times. She lives in the downriver city of Wyandotte with her husband, toddler, mutt, and two orange cats.
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