The Joy of Better Drinking in Royal Oak

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All week long, celebrating our Slöshed issue, we’ll be looking into some of the top-shelf attractions of local drinking culture. Today, we eyeball Royal Oak's 212, courtesy of editorial intern Ashley Fagan. —Ed.

212's head bartender, Adrianne Martin.

Adrianne Martin is head bartender at Royal Oak’s 212. The kitchen serves high-quality dishes created from locally produced ingredients. But the bar puts the same work in, with an emphasis on craft cocktails.

Martin first began serving craft cocktails at another local cocktail bar, the Oakland. Martin claims to have “fallen in love with [craft cocktails] and with the insane hours and insane studying to [make them].”

Martin says people are “happy and interested” when they first react to pre-Prohibition-style cocktails. She credits those reactions as the reason she’s still excited to work at craft cocktail establishments, as her goal is to see every customer happy and smiling. She says she hopes that craft cocktails become more widely available, and that people will be more willing, eager, and comfortable trying new drinks.

Martin says 212 was a great introduction to Royal Oak, because of the city’s great nightlife. Instead of ordering Jack and Cokes or vodka Red Bulls, drinkers are more likely to branch out and try something different, such as gin, whiskey or bourbon.

Martin continues to serve craft cocktails for the smiles and the reactions she receives from guests. It’s the gratitude and joy that drives her to do her best every day. Seeing people happy and interested in these old-school-style cocktails keeps her coming back to work, standing behind the counter for hours on end. She’s ready to put a smile on your face and a drink in your hand.

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