About the Author

Dean Champane is a seasoned, longtime aficionado of fashionable cocktails, wine, and classic cars. Forty years of experience in the wine and beverage business have given him great reasons to pursue his many ambitions. Photography has proven to be an exciting and passionate pleasure, as well. Dean knows that, when precious moments can be captured, good times and memories are sure to follow.

How did he become acquainted with such pleasures?

Would you believe that Dean was able to purchase a car before he even had a driver’s license? He managed to talk his grandfather into lending him money, and his first car was a 1966 Oldsmobile 442. Within a short time, he modified the engine to over 400 horsepower. Friends followed suit; in those days, everyone in Detroit increased their cars’ horsepower. It was the thing to do! When he turned sixteen, that Olds became his legal mode of transportation to and from school and summer work. During summer months, that meant many weekends spent out on Woodward looking for a thrill.  Dean never failed to find one.

College years and turning twenty-one brought new horizons and pleasures. Dean was introduced to Detroit area hole-in-the-wall bars and restaurants, and he discovered a taste for good cocktails.

After finishing college, Dean joined the family food processing and distribution business, which included selling alcohol on the premises and over the counter. It was in those days that he acquired a deep and respectful appreciation for pairing wine with good food and a well-mixed cocktail. Traveling for work to many of the best bars and restaurants around the country, he noticed many bartenders and mixologists establishing signature cocktails identifying their establishments. Dean was inspired; he started mixing cocktails of his own.

He has always associated a good cocktail with good conversation, memorable occasions and great family and friends. The cocktails introduced in this book are all original, well-thought-out, and born in the Motor City, just like Dean, himself.

In time, Dean realized he wanted to create a Detroit-centric ‘something’ which could be shared with and enjoyed by everyone. The cocktails he introduces here are reflections of the revitalization occurring in the Motor City. Along with Cars and Cocktails itself, they serve as another Detroit accolade: a further reflection of the many great things happening in his hometown.

The author hopes you find the uniqueness and elegance of these cocktails to be great companions to the perfect moments of your life. Should you decide to entertain guests, you’ll find that the prescribed recipes and ingredients are readily available.  Dean recommends that you make some of your favorites…and then enjoy taking in the reactions of your grateful guests!  Like Detroit’s cars, these cocktails are noteworthy for the unique satisfactions they deliver.

As we say in Detroit,