Tulip Time official cocktail to be different at each venue

By Justine. McGuire

Holland, Mich.

The Tulip Time signature spirit and cocktail experience will get a boost this year.

Coppercraft Distillery in Holland Township is providing the signature cocktail — Copper Blossom — and the signature spirit — Coppercraft Rum.

This is the third year that Coppercraft has provided the spirit and cocktail, but the first that there will be a Copper Trail for connoisseurs to follow.

“The Copper Trail concept is a great way to entice festival guests to visit several businesses while in Holland,” said Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time executive director.

The trail will end at Coppercraft Distillery at 184 120th Ave., where they can see the distilling process and try Coppercraft’s version of the Copper Blossom.

The distillery’s Copper Blossom — which debuted at First Bloom in February — features 2 ounces of Coppercraft Rum, 1.5 ounces of orange juice, three-quarters of an ounce of falernum and two dashes of house bitters, with an orange spiral garnish.

“It’s not dissimilar to a bourbon trail or a beer trail,” said Kim Catton, Coppercraft co-founder and sale director. “Boatwerks will be different from Butch’s and different from the Curragh.”

Allowing each participating bar and restaurant to create their own Copper Blossom, inspired by copper blossom tulips, will allow them to showcase their talents and ensure the drink pairs well with their food, atmosphere and clientele, Catton said.

All Copper Blossom variations will use Coppercraft Rum, which features locally sourced molasses and evaporated cane juice, along with apple and pear flavors.

Each participating venue will have trail passports, which will allow customers to check off each venue and rate their cocktail creation. When the passport is filled, it can be turned in at Coppercraft Distillery to receive a flask and an entry into a contest to win a gift basket.

So far, participating restaurants include Boatwerks, Butch’s, City Vu, Hops 84 East, Salt and Pepper, The Curragh and Tripleroot, Catton said.

“Walter (Catton, co-founder and distiller) and I chose to make Holland our community of choice, choosing to live here, raise children here, be involved in the community here, and not just from a personal perspective, but from a business perspective,” Kim Catton said. “Being part of the community is extremely important to us. … It’s a natural fit for us to be part of Tulip Time and investing in our community. Without our community, Coppercraft wouldn’t be who we are.”

The official beer, spirit and wine allow businesses to be more involved in Tulip Time, and creates a fun experience for visitors, Auwerda said. And, the benefits are spread around when the beverages are made available at multiple bars and restaurants throughout the Holland area.

The official beer of Tulip Time 2016 is The Hollander from New Holland Brewing. The official wine is Barefoot.

Food at Coppercraft

Coppercraft co-founders Kim and Walter Catton have plans to expand the distillery building and bar in Holland Township.

The expansion would add barrel storage and a kitchen. Those changes would allow for more seating in the bar area.

Originally, the Cattons hoped to finish the expansion and have the kitchen up and running for Tulip Time, but that is no longer within reach, Kim Catton said.

Construction work has not begun, she added.

However, the Cattons have been working to secure approvals from Holland Township to go ahead with the project.

Kim Catton said everything takes a little longer when alcohol is involved.

“We did hire a chef out of Chicago, who’s starting with us next week,” she said.

Chef Kelsey Winter-Troutwine is a West Michigan native who has worked at several Chicago restaurants.

When the chef begins work, Coppercraft leadership will look at catered or pre-packaged food options that could fill the food void until the kitchen is complete, Kim Catton added.

— Follow this reporter on Twitter @SentinelJustine and @BizHolland.

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