The Boston Cooler: Made in Michigan?
Chances are if you've grown up in the Mitten State, you've at some point in your life had the creation known as a "Boston Cooler". But did you know that this delicious dessert is more likely to say 'ope' than 'wicked'? Despite its geographical first name, this treat was created in Detroit, Michigan, by the state's first-ever licensed pharmacist.
The Happy Accident That is the Boston Cooler
As the story is told, a Michigan doctor was working on a stomach tincture when he was called off to the Civil War in 1866. The doctor took his concoction and placed it in an oak barrel. He returned from the war 4-years later and sampled the now-aged creation, and to his delight, it was delicious and refreshing. His son also enjoyed the new beverage and told his father he might have something. They began producing it and serving it at his Detroit, Michigan pharmacy on Woodward Ave. That man's name was Dr. James Vernor and the beverage he created is Vernor's Ginger Ale.
What is a Boston Cooler
Believe it or not, the name Boston Cooler first referred to any beverage poured on vanilla ice cream. From Hires to Coke, if it involved pop and ice cream it was called a Boston Cooler. Over time rootbeer on ice cream became a float, and Vernors with Vanilla owned the name. It was in 1967 that Vernors officially staked claim to the name by copywriting it.
Though there are disagreements as to who made the first Boston Cooler with ginger ale, most agree it was created and named for its proximity to the streetcars that ran on Boston Boulevard in Detroit, near Vernor's pharmacy.
Making Your Own Boston Cooler
Want to make this treat at home? It's easy! Just take 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, and a 12-ounce can of Vernors and slowly pour it over the frozen treat. Now you can enjoy Detroit, Michigan's own Boston Cooler!