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Bartender Who Created Detroit’s Classic Hummer Cocktail Has Died

Jerome Adams worked for more than 50 years at the Bayview Yacht Club

Jerome Adams worked at the Bayview Yacht Club for 50 years and is credited with inventing the hummer cocktail.
Bayview Yacht Club/Facebook
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Jerome Adams, the bartender who invented Detroit’s iconic hummer cocktail, has died. Adams died early Sunday morning, the Bayview Yacht Club confirmed on Facebook.

Adams was a longtime fixture at the Bayview Yacht Club and celebrated his 50th anniversary behind the bar at the club in June 2017. Adams, who was originally from Georgia, started out at the Bayview Yacht Club as a dishwasher 1967 and over the course of a year worked his way up to tending bar, according to Punch.

It was there, in 1968, that Adams reportedly invented the hummer — a blended shake made with white rum, Kahlua, vanilla ice cream, and ice cubes. As Adam told it in countless interviews over the years, he was behind the bar and experimenting with a new blended drink for the menu when several customers including Ed Jacoby of Jacoby’s in downtown Detroit walked in. The group insisted on trying the new drink. “So I gave him and his two buddies three of ‘em, and they drank it and said, ‘You got any more?’ I said, ‘No, but I could make up some,’” Adams recalled to Metro Times in 2011.

Adams says, when they asked, he told the men that the drink didn’t have a name and one of them remarked, “You know what? After two of these damn things, kinda makes you wanna hum,’” he said. Thus, the hummer was born. Today, the boozy milkshake can be found on bar menus in Detroit and around the world.

According to a GoFundMe account launched on behalf of Adams family last month, Adams had battled cancer three times over the years. As news of Adams death has spread, friends and fans have turned to the Bayview Yacht Club’s Facebook page and Adams’ family’s GoFundMe page to express their condolences and share fond memories. No details on a memorial are available at this time.

Detroit Bartender Jerome Davis, Inventor of ‘The Hummer’ Cocktail, Is Dead [MT]
How the Hummer Became Michigan’s State Drink [Punch]
The Hummer Cocktail: Born in Detroit [MT]