The back story:
Our good friends Kate and Will used to travel back to Kate's hometown in Michigan every year to visit parents and siblings. Each time they returned they would present me with a special gift: a six-pack of Vernor's Ginger Ale. At the time, the product was not available to us here in Oregon. This woman would lug six heavy bottles of this delicious golden concoction in her luggage. It was "manna from Michigan" to me.
Upon experimentation with this product, I found that mixing it with a splash of rum accentuated the sweet biting taste of this ginger ale and it quickly became my favorite drink.
Since then the Vernor's marketing conglomerate extended it's product base to the wilds of Oregon and so I can now pick up six-pack cans at the local grocery store. After a while I was introduced to the Cosmopolitan Cocktail which became my new favorite.
As my cocktail science began to diversify, I started making Cosmos out of all kinds of juices; blueberry (pretty good), pomegranate (mediocre), cherry (mmm, no). But mango worked wonderfully well and so my Mango Cosmo became the new family favorite.
Then one day I found myself out of Mango vodka; though I had rum and, of course, the fridge was well stocked with Vernor's. Well, science is all about experimentation, so I poured some rum over ice in a cocktail glass then added a jigger of Mango Nectar, floating Vernor's ginger ale over the top to fill the glass. The result was a lovely gradient of yellow to gold and an exquisitely tropical lilt to the palate. It was like a Mai-Tai but with ginger ale.
I dubbed it the Michigan Mai-Tai in honor of Kate who introduced me to Vernors by graciously lugging her luggage from the mid-west weighted down with bottles of ginger ale.
Half-fill a highball glass with ice. Add:
1 jigger rum
1 jigger Mango nectar
fill with Vernor's ginger ale
Add a "squirt" of grenadine to give it a sunset blush
Drop in a maraschino cherry for good luck.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add:
2 jiggers Mango vodka
1 jigger Triple-Sec
1 jigger sweetened lime juice
1 jigger Mango nectar
Shake well then strain into (very important:) "chilled" martini glasses after coating the rims with a dusting of sugar.