On Church Street, just north of Willard Street and across from Pizza House, lies Rick's American Cafe. The red neon sign glows in the night, serving as a mark of the promised land for all those standing in the line extending all the way back to South Forest. Eager 20-something year olds will wait, sometimes up to two hours, to descend down the stairs into the dim basement, solely lit by neon signage and the bar lights.

Frequented by UMich seniors, it is a popular spot for drinks and dancing, especially on Thursdays. The famed Rick's Thursday features $1 well drinks, as well as their signature drink, the Mindprobe, for $5 instead of the usual $9. What a deal! The Mindprobe is a tall, pinkish drink that is known for its potency and sweet taste, masking the large amount of alcohol hiding in it. You know there is likely an entertaining story to follow when one begins with, "So, I had a Mindprobe last night and..."

But, what is actually in a Rick's Mindprobe?

No one actually seems to have a solid answer. Despite that, every Rick's-goer has had at least one, and many consume them at each visit. The Mindprobe has the reputation of being powerful, tasty, and worth the price; just one can be sufficient for the entire night for some people. For this reason, it is popular, giving you a bang for your buck, especially on Thursdays.

While there is no certainty, there are indeed some ingredients of the Mindprobe that can generally be agreed upon: rum, tequila, gin, pineapple juice, and grenadine. It may sound like an odd combination in theory, but in execution, it just works. It doesn't taste like alcohol; it tastes like some fruity drink 10-year-old you would have had on a family beach resort vacation.

Want to try a Mindprobe, but can't make it to Rick's? Try it at home with this recipe below: maybe even use Ann Arbor's new alcohol delivery service to get the ingredients! This recipe uses the generally agreed upon ingredients mentioned above, as well as a few additions that I believe are in it, such as Sprite. While it will be hard to tweak the recipe to get it just right, this is pretty dang close, and we will likely never know the exact secret recipe. As always, drink responsibly!

Rick's Mindprobe

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:0
  • Total Time:5 mins
  • Servings:2
  • Easy


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces rum
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 3 ounces Sprite
  • splash grenadine
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • ice
Jane Schmid
  • Step 1

    Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

    Jane Schmid