Bluegrass Punch @ Stella’s Lounge

Looking for something to do on Monday nights? Live near or in Grand Rapids?

Stella’s Lounge in Grand Rapids, Michigan, offers “Drunken Retort” every Monday after 9 pm. Slam Poetry and whiskey? Sign me up.

This post is not about the poetry though, (don’t get me wrong, it was LGBT night and the talent was intense, but this isn’t a blog dedicated to lesbian poets) its about the whiskey.

Stella’s Lounge has over 250 kinds of whiskey. How fitting, then, for a girl who was raised by a whiskey loving family to start her journey here? Not to mention, an old school arcade and the best burgers in America, according to GQ magazine.

But, I come from a small town where the bartenders only know beer and vodka cranberry’s, so 250 was a bit intimidating. Instead of diving headfirst into their mile long whiskey menu, I was told to try their signature whiskey punch drink- the Bluegrass Punch.

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My date chose the Whiskey Sour, another recommended drink. The punch contained Old Forester, Triple Sec, Lemon Juice and Cranberry juice. The sour had Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Lemon juice, Simple Syrup, and some Sprite. The Punch was $7.00 and the Sour $6.00. Topped with a lemon and a cherry (I ate the cherry before the glass touched our table), the punch looked like something out of “Better Homes and Gardens”. I’m a real sucker for maraschino cherries- put one on just about anything and I’m listening.

To compliment our girly drinks we also had to order a couple of burgers. I don’t recall the name of them, so enjoy a low quality photo instead.

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The food and the drinks actually went well together. The Bluegrass Punch certainly contains a punch. The first flavor that hits you is the whiskey- as it should. Upon further inspection, I think the bartender used Wild Turkey for both of our drinks. To be honest I really don’t like Wild Turkey but I don’t consider myself in any way a whiskey connoisseur.

The second after you’re reminded of the whiskey in your drink, you catch the lemon juice and a hint of cranberry. Tart, cold, and spicy all at the same time. I think my taste buds were also a little confused, because the fries that came with the burger had a unique set of spices on them. Paprika meets whiskey meets cranberry?

Half way through the punch and a few sips of the Sour and I was sold. Buzzed and full of America’s best burger and I was already planning my next trip to Stella’s. The Bluegrass Punch is certainly worth $7.00. There is enough to the drink that you can’t get bored, and its sweetness competes with its sourness in the best way. Just make sure you stir it from time to time.

Edit: All photos taken by me.

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