A Tiny Cocktail Revolution Stirring In A Remote Town Of 8,000

Between its craggy rock shores, its massive ore docks rising out of icy lake water, and its sheer remoteness, the wild and far-flung landscape of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula doesn’t exactly look like an opportune market for a craft cocktail scene. Yet, that hasn’t stopped Steph Tepkasetkul from serving fellow Yoopers her own specialty drinks—the caliber of which might seem more at home at a Brooklyn speakeasy than in the tiny, secluded town of Houghton, Michigan.

The interest in her creations from locals hasn’t hit like a wave so much as it has come in slowly lapping strides – the kind that reshape shorelines over years. One drink at a time, she has been creating space in a small town for specialty drinks, and changing palates in the process.

Tepkasetkul is from the Upper Peninsula originally, but it was in Oakland, California while waiting tables at a pre-Prohibition cocktail bar and restaurant called The Grand Tavern, that she first became interested in the art of the cocktail. When she wasn’t working the floor, she shadowed a bartender and began learning the moves that make up the delicate dance of high-level drink-mixing.

Read more at Tales Of The Cocktail

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Elizabeth Seward is a writer and songwriter, among other things. Read a full bio on the ABOUT page.

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