Friday, August 7, 2009

A Classic Detroit Summer Time Treat!

If you were born and/or raised anywhere near Detroit, MI then you've probably enjoyed a Boston Cooler at least once in your life! Since Vernors is my preferred soft drink, I like to enjoy these throughout the year!

A little history of the Boston Cooler:

The origin of the Boston cooler lies in Detroit, Michigan the city in which Fred Sanders is credited with inventing the ice cream soda. The name almost certainly has no connection to Boston, Massachusetts, where the beverage is virtually unknown. One theory is that it was named after Detroit's Boston Boulevard, the main thoroughfare of what was then an upper-class neighborhood a short distance from James Vernor's drugstore.
It is known that by the 1880s the Boston cooler was being served in Detroit, made with the local
Vernors, an intense golden ginger ale, unlike most modern dry ginger ales. Originally, a drink called a Vernors Cream was served as a shot or two of sweet cream poured into a glass of Vernors golden ginger ale. Later, vanilla ice cream was substituted for the cream as a Vernors float. Unlike a float however, a Boston Cooler is blended like a thick milk shake. Both Sanders' soda fountains and the Big Boy restaurant chain used their milkshake blenders to prepare the drink (it was a signature menu item at Big Boy until its change in ownership in the 1980s).
It can be found most often in the Detroit region's many
Coney Island-style restaurants, which are plentiful because of Detroit's Greektown district influence. National Coney Island is one of the few restaurant chains to list the Boston cooler in their menu. It is also found at the Detroit-area Dairy Queens and at Halo Burger, a mid-Michigan fast food chain.

To make a Boston Cooler, all you need is a large mug type glass (frosted if you prefer), add about 2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, then add Vernors Ginger Ale (regular or diet) and enjoy!


  1. MMMM... nothing like a good Boston Cooler made with Vernors!

  2. That looks so good! Thanks for the bit of history!