Photo credit: Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm at the Faygo Plant, October 2006 (Photo Courtesy of the Granholm Leadership Fund)
There’s Faygo, which has been making its colorful pop in Detroit since 1907. Started by Russian brothers Ben and Perry Feigenson, Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works first offered drinks in fruit punch, strawberry and grape flavors. These flavors were inspired by frosting recipes that the men created when they worked as bakers. In 1921, the Feigenson brothers shortened the company name to Faygo. Faygo’s Web site has a more detailed history and recipes for adding Faygo to everything from ribs to cauliflower soup. Looking for some entertainment while you enjoy your pop? Check out the Faygo Boat Song (You Tube link) and the Faygo Kid (You Tube link). These old commercials may bring back some memories!
Are you in the mood for something a little less sweet? Perhaps you’d like a glass of ginger ale. Detroit pharmacist James Vernor invented Vernor’s ginger ale in the 1860s. With a close eye on quality, Vernor’s went from being sold only at a fountain in Vernor’s pharmacy to gaining fans in new markets in Ohio and New York. Now owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., Vernor’s tells its story on the Vernor’s Web site. For a more indepth look, take a look at Lawrence L. Rouch’s The Vernor’s Story: From Gnomes to Now, a 2004 Michigan Notable Book. The Images of America series has published Vernor’s Ginger Ale by Keith Wunderlich, complete with factory photos, promotional images and shots of the company’s one-time mascot, the gnome. Both books are available at the Library of Michigan.
Cover to The Vernor’s Story by Lawrence L. Rouch
POP VS. SODA
Not sure if you should call these drinks pop or soda? Check out The Pop vs. Soda Web Page, which shows that Michigan is clearly a green state. (On the site’s interactive map, green represents people who use the term â€œpop,â€ as opposed to â€œcokeâ€ or â€œsoda.â€)
Faygo Root Beer Takes Top Honors
Absolute Michigan would like to add to the article and point out that Bon Apetit has named Faygo Old Fashioned Root Beer as their favorite Root Beer.
Old-fashioned root beer is the newest restaurant drink trendâ€”suddenly, it’s on menus everywhere. What sets these sodas apart is that they’re caffeine-free and usually sweetened with cane sugar, not corn syrup: Think root beer returning to its roots. Style varies from sweet to dry and from mild to zingy. The satisfying and complex flavors can come from cinnamon, vanilla, sassafras, ginger, licorice, cherryâ€”and even wintergreen to balance out the sweetness.
They describe Faygo Old Fashioned Root Beer as being “Dry and crisp, with a frothy head, a good bite, and a long finish.”