Michigan's Semi-Official State Cocktail Is Basically A Boozy Milkshake

States aren't just known by their license plates and flags: State legislation has provided most with their own birds, trees, flowers, and state food — to name just a few. Many even boast their own state beverage. But people in most of the fifty states didn't think outside the box: an overwhelming majority went with the underwhelming choice of milk. The only state to choose a form of alcohol was Alabama, which picked Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey. While most states have not dared venture into cocktail territory when it comes to their official legislation, there's a second tier of tipples that, while not formally recognized, are understood to embody their state's essence. In the case of Michigan, that cocktail is the Hummer, a frothy white concoction that adds a little kick to a vanilla milkshake. 

If you have a sweet tooth, it's hard not to love the Hummer, which is a combination of vanilla ice cream, white rum, and Kahlua. It's like a White Russian went on vacation to Jamaica and decided it needed to adapt to the warmer air and the local spirits. As with most things, there's some debate about how to actually concoct the hummer, but in the end, it's the simplicity of the recipe that might be credited for its lasting appeal. 

So good it makes you want to hum

But what's up with the name? It's hard to imagine there's a connection between the alcoholic milkshake and the military vehicle. Like most origin stories, details of the Hummer's invention are disputed, but most trace its roots back to bartender Jerome Adams who allegedly made the first Hummer in 1968 at Detroit's Bayview Yacht Club. Adams served it up to contented customers on a slow afternoon at the club. One appreciative patron, upon learning his favorite beverage had no name, declared that it kind of made him want to hum (and buzz, too, perhaps) and the name was born. 

Though primarily only available in Michigan, undaunted patrons have since embraced their regional identity and spread their enthusiasm for the Hummer to other bars, states, and even countries by asking for the drink at establishments far from its Detroit origins, expanding the cocktail's reach. While the Hummer has a simple list of ingredients, it can pose a bit of a challenge for busy bars, since it requires both a blender and a readily-accessible freezer. That makes it tough for professional mixologists, who really don't like breaking out that blender, but pretty perfect for anyone with a home bar and some vanilla ice cream lying around. Drinks and dessert in one tall glass of frozen goodness. Sounds like it's time for Michigan to take this love affair with the Hummer and make it official.