MGM Grand Detroit and local craft distillery Two James Spirits launched 3rd Street Whiskey, an original in-house, barrel-aged whiskey, offered exclusively at Wolfgang Puck Steak.
The new make of rye whiskey created by award-winning Two James Spirits is poured right out of the barrel from a tableside cart created by Taru Lahti, a Detroit-based designer. Lahti sourced local materials, including maple and steel, to display the five aging barrels.
“Every aspect of this new experience has a tie to the city and our guests won’t find it anywhere else in the country,” said Steve Zanella, president and COO of MGM Grand Detroit. “Our team is dedicated to supporting our community, leading through sustainability, and providing an exceptional guest experience in all that we do, which makes this partnership with Two James perfect.”
The clear, or “white,” whiskey distilled just over a mile away from Wolfgang Puck Steak at Two James Spirits, Detroit’s first distillery since Prohibition, is made with locally grown grain and mash. The result is a spirit with a unique profile and fig finish that was developed after selecting specific aging barrels.
“Two James Spirits is excited to partner with our friends and neighbors at MGM Grand Detroit for this unique whiskey program using our rye distillate produced on-site in our copper pot still from the finest Michigan rye grain,” said David Landrum, founder at Two James Spirits. “We have been fortunate to create friendships with local farms throughout the state, such as Wing Farms, which has allowed us to select the perfect species of rye in order to create a spirit that truly is The Spirit of Detroit.”
For whiskey connoisseurs the spirit is recommended neat, but for those just looking for a taste, a full range of cocktails are offered and mixed tableside. Whether a whiskey buff or not, the cart itself adds to the dining experience. Lahti, an accomplished vehicle and interior designer, created a piece that is both functional and a work of art.
“The cart was a collaboration with Two James Spirits and MGM Grand Detroit. The design had to convey handmade artisan elegance, but keep true to a structure that would support the weight of the oak barrels. With these fundamental ideals established we needed to add a final element that would make the cart stand alone. The idea was simple; incorporate a smaller cart for exclusive table-side service. The smaller cart would integrate with the larger cart in such a way that when the two are together they become a focal point in Wolfgang Puck Steak. The final design has exceeded the initial concept goal and defines a true partnership between local businesses,” said Lahti.
Wolfgang Puck Steak is an original concept developed specifically for Detroit. Opened in 2012, its menu features grilled steaks, shellfish, and roasted whole fresh fish offerings, as well as a selection of richly flavored sauces and side dishes. The establishment is also home to one of the largest wine lists in Michigan, as well as an extensive craft cocktail program that includes barrel-aged cocktails and a beer list with many rare brews.