Taste of the Great Lakes: 5 Michigan Signature Cocktails to Wow Your Guests

  • 14th November 2023

This post was written in collaboration with Joanna Ray

From the shores of Lake Michigan to the bustling streets of Detroit, igamingmi.com has compiled this cocktail list to pay tribute to the state’s flavors and heritage. Whether you’re a Michigander looking to showcase your state’s pride or just a cocktail enthusiast seeking new and exciting libations, these 5 Michigan signature cocktails are sure to add a touch of local charm to your next gathering.

Golden Cadillac

There is hardly anything that shouts “Detroit” louder than cars, especially the Cadillac. While this cocktail was originally created in California in 1952, it is now a signature Michigan drink that will brighten up any party with its smooth creamy taste.

Things to get:

  • 1 ounce Galliano L’Autentico
  • 1 ounce white creme de cacao
  • 1 ounce cream
  • Dark chocolate shavings

Things to do:

Set the chocolate aside, and put the rest of the ingredients into a blender along with half a cup of crushed ice. Mix on low speed for 10 seconds, then double-strain the mixture into a champagne flute or a delicate wine glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of chocolate to finalize the masterpiece.

Detroit Old Fashioned

This Michigan twist on a classic cocktail will catch your fancy if you like strong, rich drinks with a touch of history. What’s more, this one is very easy to make, no blender or strainers needed.

Things to get:

  • A sugar cube or a teaspoon of simple sugar syrup
  • 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 orange wheel
  • A maraschino cherry
  • 2 ounces of good bourbon or rye
  • 2 ounces of Vernors

Start by placing a sugar cube or syrup into an Old Fashioned glass. Next, add the bitters and muddle everything together until the sugar dissolves. Fill the glass with ice, bonus points if you have an ice ball.  Finally, add the whiskey and Vernors to the glass, ensuring a harmonious blend of flavors, and garnish your drink with an orange slice and a cherry.

Grand Traverse

Michigan-made wine is good as it is, but what if you make it even better by turning it into a cocktail? Any sparkling wine will work, but the Grand Traverse’s Bay L. Mawby is the perfect option.

Things to get:

  • L. Mawby sparkling wine
  • Cherry bitters
  • A fresh cherry
  • A sugar cube

Things to do:

Nothing complicated here: just pour your wine into a champagne glass, add as much cherry bitters as you want, a couple of fresh cherries, and a sugar cube. You’re all set!

The Hummer

One sunny day in the 60s. bartender Jerome Adams accidentally mixed this drink at Bayview Yacht Club. Allegedly, one of the customers said that two cocktails would make him hum, so that’s where the drink got its name. Be careful — it’s a sweet but strong one.

Things to get:

  • 1.5 ounces of rum
  • 1.5 ounces of Kahlua
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 2 or 3 ice cubes

Things to do:

Blend everything from the ingredient list, pour in a rock glass, and enjoy!


Go blue! If you’re about to watch the game with your friends but want to make it a bit extra, here is the perfect drink for the occasion.

Things to get:

  • 6 tablespoons blue curacao
  • 4 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream-flavored vodka
  • “M”-shaped pineapple slice

Mix all the liquids in a shaker with some ice, pour into a martini glass, and garnish with a pineapple slice.

This post was written by ....

Make Me A Cocktail
Make me a cocktail is the world's best online cocktail resource - or so we like to think (I mean, we did build it). Started in 2010 and still going strong, we're passionate about bringing you the best cocktails in the best ways possible.


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