The Ann Arbor Wedding Blog

Whether cheering on their beloved home teams (Go Tigers!) or hanging out at a backyard BBQ, Michiganders love to enjoy themselves a nice cocktail! Fortunately, adding signature cocktails to Ann Arbor weddings has become a popular wedding trend, probably because couples have found that it is the perfect way to add a touch of personality and local love.

We’ve put together a list of 5 signature cocktail ideas to include in your Ann Arbor wedding, each with special ties to Michigan. How do we know they’re delicious? Because we’ve personally tasted each one ourselves, of course! It’s a tough job we have, really, but someone has to do it…

Bottoms up!

The Hummer

Many Michiganders don’t know this, but the Hummer was actually thought up by Jerome Adams when he took over the bartending duties at Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit back in 1967. In an effort to fill the shoes of the bartender before him and impress his new clientele, Adams crafted the Hummer on a whim and in turn, created a sensation! This ice cream cocktail will be a cool treat for a hot summer wedding.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 ounces rum (usually Bacardi)
  • 1.5 ounces Kahlúa
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • A couple ice cubes

How to Make It:

Super simple: toss it all in the blender and serve it up to your guests ASAP.

White Rum Cherry Cocktail

Locally grown cherries are a staple in Michigan. You’d be hard pressed to find a Michigander who hasn’t attended the Cherry Festival in Traverse City or at least indulged in a slice of cherry pie.

This tart fruit is both delicious and refreshing in a cocktail - an ideal combination for Ann Arbor weddings!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 ounces light rum
  • 1.5 ounces Cherry Brandy
  • Dash of simple syrup
  • Squeeze fresh lime
  • Club soda
  • Mint & fresh cherries for garnish

How to Make It:

Combine rum, brandy, and simple syrup in a shaker. Squeeze in fresh lime and give it a good shake. Pour over ice into a rocks glass. Feel free to muddle the mint and cherries first or just use them for a garnish.

Detroit Cooler

Step aside, Boston, because Detroit is coming in strong with this recipe. To Michiganders, the ONLY ginger ale is Michigan-made Vernors. Don't even mention Canada Dry in these parts!

Originally developed by a Detroit pharmacist, Michigan residents have been sipping on Vernors since they were old enough to have pop. I’ve since moved out of my hometown of Westland, MI, and I still have my parents send me cases of the stuff!

Serving up an adult version of a Boston Cooler (made with ginger ale and vanilla ice cream) will add a touch of childhood nostalgia to your nuptials. Might not be a bad idea to keep a few cans of the stuff laying around at the reception just in case someone hits the buffet table a little too hard, too!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1.25 ounces vodka
  • 1.25 ounces spiced rum
  • .75 ounces vanilla syrup
  • 3-4 oz Vernors

How to Make It:

Mix all ingredients together, and pour into a martini glass! We love a cocktail that is simple and delicious!

Pineapple Upside Down Fish

This cocktail is for the bride and groom with a sweet tooth! Hard Luck Candy is a local vodka founded in Michigan at the Hard Luck Lounge (since closed) on the east side of Detroit. The concept behind the brand was to convert favorite old fashioned sweets into a product that could be enjoyed as an adult. Since the brand started, they have developed four flavors including: Red Fish (a play off the candy, Swedish Fish), Root Beer Barrel, Lemon Drop, and Orange Dream (meant to taste like an orange creamsicle).

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 ounces Red Fish Vodka
  • 1ounce pineapple juice
  • Lemon-lime soda

How to Make It:

Give the Red Fish Vodka & pineapple juice a good shake. Top it off with lemon-lime soda and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Spiked Cider

Living in Ann Arbor, you know it’s a rite of passage every fall to take an annual trip to the cider mill. You pick out a bundle of apples, savor the taste of cinnamon donuts and sip on some hot apple cider. There is nothing that says “fall in Michigan” like locally pressed apple cider.

For your fall wedding in Ann Arbor, serve up this hot cocktail to keep your guests feeling cozy and warm in the brisk autumn temperatures.

What You’ll Need:

  • Leelanau Witches Brew wine (local wine made in Northern Michigan with notes of cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg)
  • Fresh Apple Cider
  • Cinnamon sticks

How to Make It:

In a saucepan, heat up 2 parts Witches Brew to one part apple cider with a cinnamon stick. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

Craft Beers

Plain and simple, Michigan people are beer people! You don't really have a choice but to love a good brew, what with the growing craft beer scene taking place in the Great Lakes state. With over 150 different breweries to choose from, the men in attendance at your wedding will be happy you skipped the fruity cocktails.

Cheers to the happy couple!

Any of you ladies planning on serving some signature wedding drinks? Tell us your recipe in the comments!

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