Friday, October 14, 2011

Highballs and High Heels - A Guide to "Girls Night Out" in Hastings, MI

Hastings, Michigan is located on the Thornapple River in the heart of Barry County. Ideally situated between the metropolitan areas of Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Battle Creek, Hastings is a vibrant community, home to quaint shops and unique restaurants surrounded by nature's beauty. The ladies of Hastings, MI treat themselves and their girlfriends to the best shopping party EVER in downtown Hastings, via the "Girls Night Out" event. This glammed-up event is sponsored by the Hastings Downtown Business Team, a committee of the Barry County Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Development Authority.  

Ladies enjoy special dining and shopping fun with over 30 downtown businesses offering  special discounts, demonstrations, and lots of refreshments. These ladies love crafted cocktails and The County Seat Lounge provided the perfect backdrop and proper tippling environment for this occasion.

We celebrated this fabulous event by enjoying Autumn Harvest Cobblers, using Michigan's own Incentive Vodka, distilled in Sturgis from 100% Michigan-grown corn. The Autumn Harvest Cobbler, crafted from locally-sourced Michigan ingredients, is not only good, it is GLUTEN-FREE.

For the recipe, see Autumn Harvest Cobbler with Incentive Vodka posting.

Fenn Valley Winery was on hand for wine tasting at The County Seat Lounge for downtown Hastings' "Girls Night Out"

Carla and Gary Rizor, owners of The County Seat Lounge, are truly passionate about their establishment. Their eclectic, fresh and seasonally-driven menu includes everything from gourmet burgers to fine cut steaks.  And they do it right - all of their ingredients are sourced from local farms.  The Rizors have a wonderful taste for all things local - including Michigan-crafted beers, wine and spirits.  Look for their new fresh and seasonal cocktail menu program, that will feature locally-sourced ingredients, coming in the near future.

After a day of traveling and eating two meals served in bags in the car, I was ready for my taste buds to be tantalized and I was placing bets that the County Seat's steak would be up for this challenge.  I knew I had a winner after the first bite of my perfectly-marbled medium-rare ribeye, served  with cheesy potatoes au gratin and fresh steamed carrots.  This ribeye melted in my mouth, and was so flavorful and juicy -- I will definitely be back for this one!

The Ladies who attended enjoyed our Incentive Vodka cocktail demonstration and even managed to have a little fun with  the rescued cocktail relics from The Rusty Rabbit's Cocktail Cottage in Mattawan, MI.  The Rusty Rabbit donated the award-winning cider, from Schultz Fruitridge Farms in Mattawan, MI, for this high-heeled event.

Until we cross paths again, a HUGE THANKS AND CHEERS to all who came out and supported their local establishments in downtown Hastings via "Girls Night Out!"  The Traveling Elixir Fixer will be back at The County Seat Lounge for a Michigan-inspired "spirited" dinner on Friday, October 28, 2011.  Hope to see you there!

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