Real Soda's Eric Sanford, who distributes glass-bottled cult drinks, says he doesn't know of anyone in Seattle who carries the ginger ale that's still made according to a recipe developed by a Detroit pharmacist in 1866. "I do get requests from time to time," he says.
Sanford vaguely recalled delivering a case to Pear Deli, but owner Lisa Martin says she doesn't have any Vernors in stock. "It sounds familiar," she offers.
My interest in Vernors Day - which always falls on Mar. 13, in honor of the Motor City's area code - isn't purely journalistic. Epicurious' Sara Bonisteel and I, both native Michiganders, last year launched the holiday on our respective blogs, urging our readers to "lift a glass of Vernors to muscle and music and a community that so appreciates honest labor that the most popular Detroit Lion of the last decade was a kicker." The call still stands.
My guess is Sanford won't heed it. Since he's not from Michigan, the soda connoisseur is apparently immune to Vernors' ticklish caramel charms.
"It's kind of bland," he says. "I have tons of ginger ales and ginger beers. Some of them really burn. Vernors is not that."
If Sanford were to choose a ginger ale, he'd go with Blenheim, the South Carolina product that its makers describe as "hot as blazes."
"That's the really spicy one," he says. "It will really get you."
Although Sanford isn't delivering any Vernors to local retailers, the ginger ale is available in Seattle: The Thriftway in West Seattle has it.