Riesling, meet bourbon. This refreshing pairing found in the Royal Park Bourbon Sangria is served at the PARK 600 bar + kitchen at Rochester’s Royal Park Hotel. Bartender and server Megan Seeley concocted this citrusy sweet drink while planning the summer menu. “We typically go through 24-30 gallons a week,” says Richard Ragainis, the hotel’s food and beverage director. With such positive buzz from customers, it’s apropos that the drink is made in a sizable jar shaped like a beehive.

INGREDIENTS/DIRECTIONS:
Place the following fresh fruit in the bottom of a 2-gallon jar:
— 1 pint strawberries
— 4 oranges, sliced
— 2 pints blackberries, slightly compress the berries to release light juice
— 4 limes, sliced
— 8-12 sprigs of mint, depending on size and taste
— 2 fresh limes, squeezed

Pour the following on top of the sliced fruit to coat all:
— 1 cup simple syrup
— 4 bottles of Michigan’s Chateau Grand Traverse Semi-Dry Riesling
— 1 bottle Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

Let all ingredients infuse for at least 32 hours refrigerated. Stir every 6-8 hours to ensure infusion and sugar reduction. Serve 6 oz. sangria over 6 oz. ice in a 12-oz. wine glass. Top with infused fruit from jar.

Courtesy of ROYAL PARK HOTEL PARK 600 BAR

MACVB Annual Educational Conference finally reaches the shores of Mackinac Island.

As I rode in the carriage from the Shepler’s Ferry terminal to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, my mind wandered to a scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” In said scene, King Arthur and his sidekick, Patsy, approach a castle while galloping and banging coconuts together. After a few moments passed and my mind wandered back to the tree-lined streets of the island, I realized it was the clippety-clop of the draft horses pulling our carriage that brought on my thoughts of Python.

 

Paint Creek Center for the Arts will once again host its annual Art & Apples Festival Sept. 9-11. 

After canceling in 2020 due to COVID and holding a modified version last year, this 56th festival returns at full strength.

“COVID was a struggle for all public festivals and Art & Apples was no exception,” says Shaun Hayes, Paint Creek Center for the Arts executive director. “After being unable to host the event in 2020, the event returned in 2021 with a limited number of artists, sponsors, and food vendors compared to what had been allowed in the past.

 

First came COVID. Then came the tornado.

The northern Michigan community of Gaylord was just starting to rebound from the pandemic with its groups and events business as a new season was getting underway when a rare EF3 tornado with estimated wind speeds between 136 and 165 miles per hour struck May 20.

Two people were killed and at least 44 were injured, according to official reports at the time. West Michigan meteorologist Bill Steffen said it was the strongest tornado to strike in the U.S. that month.