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Without the Civil War, there would be no Vernors. Before the conflict began, James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist, had concocted a new drink. It was a mix of 19 ingredients, including ginger, vanilla and natural flavorings. When Vernor was called off to war in 1862, he stored the secret mixture in an oak cask in his pharmacy. After returning from battle four years later, he opened his secret keg and found the drink inside had been transformed by the aging process in the wood. It had taken on a zippy, zesty, gingery flavor. It was like nothing else he had ever tasted. It was Vernors.
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