Faygo Rock ‘n’ Rye and Cold Duck: pour Detroit

You meet the most interesting people and hear the most interesting things on the “Faygo Book” trail.

Rock&RyeA woman at the Riverview Library reminisced about mixing Faygo Rock ‘n’ Rye with Cold Duck.

Others seemed surprised to the brink of shock.”What is Cold Duck?” It, like Faygo, is a Detroit drink.

Detroit Free Press reporter Zlati Meyer, who is in “The Faygo Book” for marveling that the company made kosher grape pop, told the Cold Duck story on March 25, 2012.

Meyer wrote that restaurateur Harold Borgman invented Cold Duck at the Pontchartrain Wine Cellars in downtown Detroit. The year was 1937, just two years after Faygo moved into its Gratiot Avenue home. Borgman mixed dry red California burgundy with New York sparkling wine.

He was experimenting with a German custom of adding champagne to the dregs of open wines from a party. Borgman called his concoction Kalte Ende, German for “Cold End,” but someone replaced the “D” with a “T,” giving us Kalte Ente, German for “Cold Duck.”

You can still buy it, unless you’d prefer to mix your own. Mixologists who combine Faygo Rock ‘n’ Rye with Cold Duck will have a pour that is pure Detroit.

The woman in Riverview declined to give her name and could not recall the proportions she used. She said she just kept adding and mixing until she achieved a taste she liked.


Published by

Joe Grimm

I wrote "The Faygo Book," published in October, 2018, after building up a tremendous thirst on my previous book with Wayne State University Press, "Coney Detroit." Since "The Faygo Book" came out, I have been traveling all over Michigan talking about Faygo, answering questions and hearing some wonderful stories about this great pop.