Michigan grandma’s cherry-infused vodka recipe hits store shelves

Posted at 10:39 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 23:24:59-04

LANSING, Mich. -- A secret family recipe is now making its way onto the shelves of Michigan party stores.

Hedy Steinbart, 92, has been making her own cherry-infused vodka out of her kitchen for 64 years, and now she's sharing it with the masses.

Everyone calls Hedy 'Oma,' because Oma means grandmother in German.  Her grandson Kyle decided to start making her special vodka on a much larger scale a few years ago, and soon it'll be a national brand.

"I never dreamed to make such a big thing of it," Hedy said.  "I just, when company came, I just offered the cherry vodka and we just had a shot."

Steinbart moved to America in 1952.  She started a new life and met her husband Walter, but among all the changes, her family's vodka recipe was always a constant.

"Germans like to drink vodka too," she said.

She started making it with a big glass jar in her kitchen.  She would make bottles for her family with sour cherries they picked in Traverse City, giving them out at Christmas time.

Her grandson Kyle shared it with friends and eventually they decided to make it for the masses.

"I'm pretty proud of it," Hedy said. "And thanks to my grandson because he did see to it that it got into the stores."

Oma's cherry-infused vodka is now manufactured at Premiere Distillery in Illinois, then distributed throughout the Chicago area and parts of Michigan.

Each bottle has 150 cherries in it, and it's completely natural.  You can find it in stores all over Lansing and on the east side of the state.  You can read more about Oma's vodka here and check the website for when it'll be available in West Michigan.