We loved them, briefly. We drank them, quickly. But today, we mourn them, woefully.
These are the drinks of yesteryear: alcoholic beverages that some overpaid marketing team came up with, slapped a cheesy label on, and shoved down our unsuspecting but inevitably delighted gullets.
Alas, there was something fundamentally wrong with each of them, a fatal flaw that doomed each of these beverages to a short, albeit glorious, existence on liquor store shelves—where, for some reason, Coors Light endures. Today we make like Boyz II Men and say goodbye to yesterday’s (booze).
Don't Miss A DropGet the latest in beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent straight to your inbox.
A malt beverage that flew too close to the sun on wings of lemon-lime flavoring and awesome advertising like this. “Zomething different.” Truly a drink too beautiful for this world.
Yes, you can still purchase cans of Four Loko—and we won’t question why on earth you’d want to—but it doesn’t have the caffeine it used to. Meaning, no, it won’t have the dual effect of getting you drunk and energizing you to do stupid things with said drunkenness. We miss you, OG FL.
There was a wave of putting extra stuff like taurine and caffeine and “fruit” flavors in booze, and then there was the far less offensive squeeze of lime thing. Miller did its best with this mostly inoffensive offering, but Bud Light Lime won the day, and then started subjecting us to a variety of –A-Ritas. If you’re really feeling Miller time, you can get this stuff—lime and lemon flavors!—across the Canadian border.
A product of the 1970s. Oh, and yes, it was promoted by Jimmy Carter’s beer-swilling brother, Billy. “Brewed expressly for and with the personal approval of one of AMERICA’s all-time Great Beer Drinkers—Billy Carter.” (Who, supposedly, actually drank Pabst.) Gotta wonder who mom was more proud of…
Woody’s Vodka Coolers
Woody’s brought us a veritable rainbow of fruity vodka coolers and how did we thank him? By buying Mike’s Hard this and that and totally ignoring the Mexican Lime and Pink Grapefruit coolers on the lower shelf. Canada, fortunately, was wise enough to keep these babies on the market. (Fair warning, dudes: Nova Scotia’s selection is a little slim.)
Not the guy who taught us all to love, or hate, thongs. The drink—also known as “liquid crack.” And for good reason, since this was no wine cooler. A fortified wine ranking in at 20% ABV, with flavors like “Red,” “Orange,” and “Blue.” OK, that one’s Blue Raspberry. Supposedly available in pockets of the country, but sadly not the liquor store staple it once was.
Don’t worry, kids, you can still get your hands on After Shock Hot Cinnamon and something called “Electric Taste.” But in 2009 the makers of this beloved line of liqueurs had to pull their aniseseed flavor. For some weird reason. Possibly because it was terrible.
Budweiser “B to the E”
A product with one of the most poetic names in the history of alcohol, and one of Budweiser’s several attempts at joining in on the “energy-plus-booze” craze ushered in by Four Loko. You can still purchase this higher ABV Bud, and yes, you have to call it B to the E out of respect, but the caffeine is gone.
The flavored malt beverage of choice for attractive oily people on the beach. Alas it was overtaken by the Smirnoff Ices of the world, meaning attractive oily people will have to find some other way to get beautifully drunk on the beach to endure the sight of us less oily, less attractive people.
A truly shitty, cheap beer, more PBR than PBR itself. Not entirely discontinued, but very scarce, available only in certain, immeasurably lucky, markets.
OK, “BoKu” wasn’t an alcoholic beverage. In fact, it was explicitly non-alcoholic, endorsed by sober comedian Richard Lewis. But damn do we miss the days of a sophisticated, adult juice box alternative to drinking. “All I wanted was a BoKu.” We love you so much, Richard Lewis. In fact, yeah man, will you marry us?
Header image via NPR.org