The Little Fleet in Traverse City has partnered with Taste The Local Difference for the third annual Farmers Market Cocktail Series. The handcrafted cocktails feature fresh, local herbs, fruit and vegetables. 

Twice a month, The Little Fleet offers a seasonal cocktail with local ingredients. In early summer, the drinks include peas, strawberries, rhubarb, saskatoons and cherries; followed by orange bell peppers, peaches, corn, cantaloupe and tomatoes toward the end of the summer; and grapes, pumpkins, sweet potato and chaga mushrooms in the fall.

“We have access to such amazing produce in this region. It makes it easy to create interesting and delicious cocktails” says Barbara Saxton, who designs The Little Fleet’s cocktails.

Produce and herbs are sourced from Northern Michigan farms, including Loma Farm, Lakeview Hill Farm, Saskatoon Michigan Farm & Nursery, La Casa Verde Produce and more.

Bailey Samp, the Local Food Coordinator at Taste the Local Difference and owner of Lakeview Hill Farm has been helping The Little Fleet source the ingredients. “It’s simple, we help pair The Little Fleet with local farms and orchards, and they make delicious cocktails. It’s a creative and interactive way to incorporate fresh produce into a drink, from cocktails named ‘Peas Out’ and ‘Lilac You Mean It,’ there is something fun for everyone to try.”

The Farmers Market Cocktail is always changing, but always available at The Little Fleet through fall. 

Make Your Own Farmer’s Market Cocktail: Peas Out


  • 1.25 oz. gin of choice (we used Two James Gin)
  • .25 oz. Norden Aquavit
  • 1 oz. snap pea syrup (recipe below)
  • .25 oz. lime juice
  • Pinch of salt

Shake and strain over small iced rocks glass. Garnish with a snap pea. 

Sugar Snap Pea Syrup: Using a large pot, add ½ cup of washed, chopped sugar snap peas (skin and all). Make a 1:1 simple syrup in the pot with water levels reaching just above the chopped peas (approximately 1 cup). Bring to a boil and remove from  the heat to steep for 30 minutes. Strain and bottle after cooling. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Photo(s) by The Little Fleet