The fine liquors from Corktown’s Two James Distillery have become so popular, so quickly, it’s surprising when you realize that less than a year ago, they weren’t available at all. Now firmly entrenched as part of any good bar’s top-shelf offerings, Two James Old Cockney Gin feels like it’s always been part of our local lore.
The distillery and its owners, David Landrum and Peter Bailey, named the gin after Bailey’s father, who hailed from the U.K. It’s made from the same soft winter wheat and rye used to manufacture their vodka. The gin is then distilled in the traditional “London dry style,” with heavy juniper flavors and a special blend of botanicals. This gin is both exceptionally dry and smooth, receiving consistently high marks from reviewers. One would do well to drink it as a martini. If you prefer a less spirited cocktail, try it as a gimlet with fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and mint — a Two James gin and juice.
Each bottle the distillery produces is specially designed to honor Detroit. The labels feature sketches of the two “Jameses” and the distillery’s story on the back. Each bottle is stamped with the name of their historic neighborhood on the bottom and fused with a custom coin at the neck.