Pomegranate Gin & Tonics and Oades Big Ten, the Liquor Store Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Since moving to Lansing this past fall, I’ve been on the constant quest to make sure I check out every local establishment (which always seems to be my priority in any city). Of course, it being a fairly small place, this has been a do-able task and luckily with my grad student workload, it also means I can space these visits out without running out of places too quickly. (I’m saving the undergrad bars for very last, though…)

So in the search for these hidden stores, someone recommended I check out the Oades Big Ten liquor store on Kalamazoo to check out their wines, as I had run through most of the decent, cheap ones at the grocery store. This is the kind of place that when you drive by it, it is reminiscent of some small town store, something I like to image would exist on Friday Night Lights, being painted in green and white, the Michigan State colors. In fact, if it hadn’t come highly recommended, I probably wouldn’t have gone in.

A few months back our house had a party and tired of the grocery store liquor options, I decided to check it out. While the wine was minimal and more expensive than my usual $8 bottles, the liquor and beer selections seemed to over-run the store. I needed to get a fair amount of liquor for the party anyway, but my piece de resistance was a handle of Magellan gin. The bottle was enormous, the gin blue (and tinted with real iris root), and there were the required ships I love on any liquor bottle (see Old Pultenay scotch). I was sold, with the added bonus of it being cheaper than a handle of Bombay Sapphire.

Then a few weeks later, it was made all the better by discovering their website, in which they have exotic animals, some tinted blue, posing with the bottle. We managed to finish the gin shortly after and then this past week I finally made my way over to Oades, for my second visit. As soon as I walked in, I thought, “Why don’t I buy all of my liquor here?” — this was clearly the place where the cool and interesting people by their liquor (despite the really weird gentleman who hit on my on my first visit — there’s nothing like a well dressed 40 year old man staring intensely and asking oddly phrased compliments).

The staff were all joshing around, I recommended the website, and in honor of my new Michigan home, I decided to make a new version of gin and tonic.


Pomegranate G&Ts

1 part gin (I used Magellan)

3 parts tonic (preferably Schweppes)

slice of lemon

Pomegranate syrup (I used Monin’s)



Add ice to an old-fashioned glass and then the gin and tonic. Squeeze the lemon into the glass before dropping in. Add a hearty splash of the pomegranate syrup. Stir and think of the wonders of winter.




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