Colleen Cox hasn't been bartending for very long. In fact, this pink-haired pixie got her first gig serving strictly booze at Cornerstone Barrel House. The brand-new bar in downtown Detroit used to be Oslo, but after switching owners it underwent a major renovation and rebranding. They've been open since last fall serving just alcoholic beverages, but just days after we visited Cox, the bar's owners opened the kitchen for family and friends, a soft opening of sorts for a menu that's been in the works for quite some time.
The bar has a nice focus on craft, including plenty of locally made beers. On tap are selections from Griffin Claw, Atwater, and others, and in bottles we spotted Bell's Huma Lupa Licious, Motor City Brewing Works' Ghettoblaster, along with other craft brews.
As for the booze, Cox says their focus is mostly on whiskeys and bourbons. Bottles line the bar from one end to the other, and no, none of them are doubles. They have about 100 different brands to choose from and with them they whip up any number of traditional drinks like a Kentucky mule, an Old Fashioned, or their special version of the classic Manhattan. The whiskey drink might be strong, but don't think it's just for the gents — even if all that booze will put hair on your chest. Cox says she prefers the Kentucky mule, as do a lot of the ladies who frequent the bar. One thing is for sure, anyone who visits Cornerstone Barrel House better love their whiskey.
2 ounces Woodford Reserve
Half-ounce Gran Marnier
Splash orange bitters
Splash sweet vermouth
Shake over ice and strain. Garnish with cherry.