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Cheers! Using Faygo in a couple of drinks for summer

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Tammy Coxen sips her creation, "Pontoon Summer" which uses Faygo Creme Soda.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Mixing the "Pontoon Summer," a drink using Faygo as requested by a listener.

The Cheers! team received a request from a listener. Bruce Schermerhorn asked whether Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings could come up with a cocktail using something from Faygo that would be nice for sipping while on his pontoon boat this summer.

Tammy first thought of Faygo’s Creme Soda because of its vanilla notes. It made her think of a Luau Daiquiri.

“I think of it as a Creamsicle® daiquiri,” she said.

It’s basically it’s rum, orange juice, lemon juice, and vanilla syrup. Tammy substituted a couple of ounces of Faygo Creme Soda for vanilla and added a couple of dashes of orange bitters (see below). She used a rum from Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville, Michigan.

“I thought a tall drink would be good for a summer day on the boat,” she said.

Not wanting to leave it at that, Tammy decided she could use another Faygo product for a different cocktail. In 1921, Faygo introduced Rock & Rye, which was the name of a cocktail that used rye, rock candy, citrus, and sometimes some spices. Bartenders would let that combination sit around for a while in a sealed jar and then serve it as a cordial or some version of a cocktail.

“We don’t know whether they (Faygo staff) were trying to echo the flavor or they were just trying to remind people of an alcoholic thing they couldn’t get anymore since this happened during Prohibition,” Tammy said.

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Ingredients for the Rock & Rye & Rye. The jar contains a syrup made from Faygo Rock & Rye.

Tammy thought it would be funny to make a Rock & Rye and rye in the Old Fashion style. So, she reduced some of the Faygo Rock & Rye into a syrup (see recipe below) and mixed it with some Long Road Straight Rye Whisky made in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“It’s definitely more of a rye with Rock & Rye,” she added.

Bruce Schermerhorn now has a couple of options for his summer sipping on the pontoon boat and you can sip them anywhere you like.

Pontoon Summer
2 oz rum (we used Iron Fish)
1 oz orange juice
1 oz lime juice
2 dashes orange bitters
2 oz Faygo Creme Soda
Combine all ingredients in a tall glass and add ice to fill.

Rock & Rye & Rye
2 oz rye whiskey (we used Long Road Straight Whisky)
1/4 oz rock & rye syrup (see below)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish: orange twist
Combine ingredients in a rocks glass with ice. Stir well to combine,
about 40 revolutions. Garnish.

Rock & Rye Syrup
6 oz rock and rye
1/4 c sugar
Add rock and rye to a saucepan and reduce by half. Add sugar and heat
just until thoroughly dissolved. Let cool before using.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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