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Made-in-Detroit concoctions for your consideration 

The Big Four

click to enlarge The Last Word. - COURTESY OF THE DETROIT ATHLETIC CLUB
  • Courtesy of the Detroit Athletic Club
  • The Last Word.

The Last Word
Era: Summer 1916
Origin: The Detroit Athletic Club
Inventor: Unknown, often incorrectly ascribed to entertainer Frank Fogarty
Recipe: 3/4 ounces Plymouth gin, 3/4 ounces lime juice, 3/4 ounces green Chartreuse, 3/4 ounces maraschino liqueur, shaken together with ice and strained
Glass: Chilled cocktail glass
What makes the drink special: Even for an experienced bartender, this drink is a challenging balancing act, given the distinct, powerful flavors of chartreuse and maraschino.
Where best to enjoy it: Chartreuse, Detroit; The Last Word, Ann Arbor

The Bullshot
Era: 1952
Origin: The Caucus Club, Detroit
Inventor: Unknown
Recipe: 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 2 1/2 ounces beef broth, 1 lemon wedge's worth of juice. 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce, 2 dashes Tabasco sauce, all shaken well with ice and strained (some recipes call for the mix to be heated before vodka is added)
Glass: Old-Fashioned glass, with a pinch of freshly grated black pepper on top
What makes the drink special: This unusual twist on the Bloody Mary gained cachet in the 1950s among celebrities.
Where best to enjoy it: The defunct Caucus Club's reborn sister restaurant, London Chop House, Detroit

click to enlarge Jerome Adams whips up a Hummer. - SARAH RAHAL
  • Sarah Rahal
  • Jerome Adams whips up a Hummer.

The Hummer
Era: January 1968
Origin: Bayview Yacht Club, Detroit
Inventor: Jerome Adams
Recipe: 1 1/2 ounces rum (usually Bacardi), 1 1/2 ounces Kahlúa, 2 scoops vanilla ice cream, a couple ice cubes, all blended and served together
Glass: 7 1/2-ounce rocks glass.
What makes the drink special: Adams was looking for a signature drink to cement his new role as Bayview's bartender. While he was experimenting, the club's bar chairman, Ed Jacoby, tasted it and it was dubbed a success.
Where to enjoy it: Bayview Yacht Club, served up by the original inventor

The Valley-Yum
Era: 1980
Origin: Lili's 21, Hamtramck
Inventor: Alan Karwowski
Recipe: A trade secret among several bartenders in Detroit, it includes, among other ingredients, fresh milk, Kahlúa, Baileys, light and dark Creme de Cacao, light and dark Bacardi rum, blue curacao, and has a slightly nutty flavor, suggestive of Frangelico or Amaretto.
Glass: Pint glass
What makes the drink special: One of the house specialties at Hamtramck's infamous punk bar, owned by Lili Karwowski, assisted by her sons (Alan included), this big, creamy, slightly green pint (originally known as the "10-Lilligram Valley Yum) is almost all liquor, hence the narcotizing name.
Where best to enjoy it: At the former Lili's 21, now the Painted Lady, Hamtramck


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