Balancing Act: Building a Manhattan in The Oakland Art Novelty Company

Wednesday, June 17, 2014

By Travis Wright

"I always say there's no wrong way to drink whisky, as long as you're drinkin' whisky."

He was a shot-and-a-beer bartender. But with an appreciation for finer cocktails, Shane McGrath started to frequent the Oakland Art Novelty Company in Ferndale as soon as it opened in 2011. He became a regular, evermore inquisitive of the recipe and the balance of ingredients; appreciative of the time and style it takes to build a memorable sippin' drink.

Soon, McGrath was asked to up his game and join Sandy Levine, the establishment's proprietor, on the other side the bar.

A serious student of the career and the craft, he's garnering acclaim for crafting imaginative, well-thought-out drinks. He wins competitions and, even better, repeat customers.

On a recent afternoon at The Oakland, bartender Shane McGrath broke down the process of making a perfect Manhattan for WDET’s Travis Wright.