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

Options for unconventional seasonal gatherings abound across the state. 

From cities teeming with bright lights to snowy small towns, Michigan is a winter wonderland. If you’re looking for a way to make your event or post-event outing more festive, consider these unique holiday offerings. 

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After 36 years as director of the CVB, Peter Fitzsimons is retiring. By Shelley Levitt

In 1985, Peter Fitzsimons, a former hotel general manager, became the executive director of the newly formed Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau. He never left. In June, the 73-year-old Detroit native announced that he’d be stepping down from the role at the end of the year. 

MIM+E: When did you begin your career in hospitality?

 

2020 was on track to be a record year. For some catering companies across the state, continuous growth year-over-year had set them up for success, and they thought it would be their best 365 days yet.

And a record year it was—but not for good reasons. Layoffs and furloughs, major losses in sales, and too many cancellations and postponed events to count made 2020 a year that catering companies will never forget.