This post originally ran in March 2011, recognizing the inaugural National Vernors Day. March 13 was selected because it matches the area code of the city where the ginger ale drink was first concocted in the Civil War era.
A post by a fan on the Facebook page for Detroit’s own Vernors proclaims: “Even our soft drinks have an attitude.”
Though I suspect that FB poster is a transplant because he used the term “soft drink” (in Detroit we drink “pop”) anyone who’s tried Vernors knows that this Ginger Ale doesn’t have anything in common with the pale “dry” stuff used as a highball mixer.
The caramel colored carbonated beverage is in a glass of its own—more bubbles, more ginger flavor, sweeter—and did I mention the bubbles that leap from the glass to tickle your nose as you drink it, and tingle all the way down?
It’s ”Deliciously Different,” as Detroit pharmacist James Vernor claimed when he concocted the blend of 19 ingredients in an oak cask in 1866.
That’s right. Detroiters have been sipping Vernors since the Civil War era.
Legend has it that Vernor mixed a batch of the beverage in 1862, marched off to war, and on his return found a four-year-aged bubbly drink like no other.
It became so popular that Vernor left his Woodward Avenue pharmacy to open a soda fountain shop and concentrate on making the pop.
Then there’s the mystery of the Boston Cooler. The soda fountain treat, Vernors poured over vanilla ice cream, is a Detroit original but someone named the float after a city where the pop has never been sold.
That’s 313. For Detroit’s area code. Get it?
Buy a bottle or a case of Vernors (somewhere along the line the apostrophe fell off) and enjoy this taste of Detroit your way. With a side of attitude.