Ferndale-based Valentine Distilling Co.’s gin and vodka will now be used at nearly 70 Applebee restaurants across Michigan to make its Long Island iced tea drink.
Jeff Pittel, director of beverages for the 67 Applebee restaurants owned by Livonia-based Team Schostak Family Restaurants, says Valentine Distilling’s Liberator Gin and White Blossom Vodka will be a component of Applebee’s D Tea, a combination of gin, vodka, triple sec liquor, fresh sour mix, and cola.
“Applebee’s already expanded our tap line to feature Michigan craft beers, and we wanted to take that a step further by offering Michigan-made wine and spirits,” Pittel says. “Valentine has a nationally recognized brand and aligns with our strategy to support Michigan businesses that allow us to deliver high quality yet affordable products.”
Valentine Distilling has won a number of national and international awards for its Liberator Gin — named after the World War II B-24 Liberator bombers built by Ford Motor Co. at Willow Run.
“It’s fitting to supply this particular Valentine product to a craft cocktail that is uniquely Detroit,” says Rifino Valentine, founder and CEO of Valentine Distilling.
Valentine’s White Blossom Vodka is infused with elderflower and grapefruit and sweetened with beet sugar.
Team Schostak’s Applebee restaurants are located in Auburn Hills, Detroit, Madison Heights, Novi, Southfield, Sterling Heights, and Warren, among other cities across the state. Team Schostak also owns 11 Olga’s Kitchen restaurants, four Del Taco Restaurants, and has plans to launch 25 MOD Pizza restaurants in Michigan.
Valentine Distilling, founded in 2007, distills vodka, gin, and bourbon, distributing its products throughout the United States and six other countries. â€‹