Try cocktails inspired by Ann Arbor public art at Ann Arbor Art Center's Artini event

This story is part of a series about arts and culture in Washtenaw County. It is made possible by the Ann Arbor Art Center, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Destination Ann Arbor, Larry and Lucie Nisson, and the University Musical Society.

You can sample cocktails designed to "pair" with Ann Arbor's public art during Artini, the Ann Arbor Art Center's (A2AC) 15th annual pub crawl fundraiser, on June 21 from 6 to 10 p.m.
Attendees are invited to enjoy cocktails made with spirits by the Ann Arbor Distilling Company. Tickets to the event cost $100 per person and include seven drink vouchers, including gratuity, that can be redeemed at a number of participating venues, including Conor O'Neill's, Vinology, Babs' Underground, Alley Bar, West End Grill, and others. (The full list of venues is available on the Artini website.) All proceeds from the event will benefit the A2AC.
"[I]t's really a thrill to host an event like Artini that brings people together to enjoy our local hospitality … neighbors while also supporting a great cause," says A2AC Executive Director Jenn Queen via email.
Cocktails have been paired with murals and alleyway installations sponsored by the A2AC's Art in Public program, and Queen encourages visitors to visit those artworks as they hop between venues.
For example, the "Busy Dreamin" cocktail, which will be offered at Vinology, has been paired with Ouizi's "Drifts" mural, which viewers can find at 200 S. Ashley in Ann Arbor.
With strawberry-infused Spring Gin made by the Ann Arbor Distilling Company, alongside elderflower liquor, Moscato rhubarb simple syrup, lemon, and other ingredients, the cocktail is described as "Light, airy, and floral. Makes you believe you're lying in a field of black eyed susans dreaming."
According to Queen, "the original inspiration for Artini was to create a fun experience to support the A2AC mission that could engage people who typically don't come to our events."
Queen says the event will be more accessible than other A2AC fundraisers. With downtown streets within Ann Arbor's Social District closed to vehicles, she says attendees will find a "much more attractive space to roam between bars, restaurants, and shops."
"Our hope is that Artini participants will discover a new place downtown they haven't been to before, or be reminded of all the great places to eat, drink, [and] shop … including the A2AC's own gallery shop!" Queen adds.
Attendees are invited to visit as many participating venues as they please, in any order.
"This is a choose your own adventure kind of event," Queen says.
This year's Artini, which is sponsored by Alex Milshteyn Real Estate and Destination Ann Arbor, coincides with both A2AC's 115th anniversary and Ann Arbor's bicentennial.

Artini tickets are available here.

Natalia Holtzman is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, The Millions, and others.

Photo courtesy of A2AC.
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