Sunday, September 4, 2011

Top 5 Drinks in my Childhood Fridge

I was hot and thirsty at a local fair yesterday, so I bought an ice-cold Bud Light.  This usually undrinkable beer not only quenched my thirst; it brought me back to my childhood.  I didn't drink Bud Light as a kid, but the moment got me thinking about what I used to drink in the dog-days-of-summer.  The items in my fridge that got me through the summer were:

5: Orange juice from concentrate - Not a carton of OJ from concentrate, but the Coke-can sized canister of orange syrup kept frozen until the need for OJ arose, at which point mom or dad would mix the orange ice-block into a pitcher of water and stir until something resembling orange juice appeared.  Not good, but drinkable and hard to forget.

4: Tang - It was good enough for astronauts so it was good enough for me.  I usually mixed way too much of the orange-ish flavored powder into the cold water and ended up with half a glass of Tang and half a glass of Tang-flavored sugar sludge, but that was part of Tang's charm and by far the best part.

3: Nestle Quik - Mix several heaping tablespoons of this brown powder into some milk, and presto--chocolate milk so sweet, it was to adults what garlic is to vampires.  In hind sight, milk was not the best decision for a cool drink on a hot summer day--it gets warm too fast and it leaves a gross film in your mouth.  But if you knew Nestle Quik was in the cupboard, it was hard to turn it down.

2: Unfrozen Fla-Vor-Ice pops - A rainbow of connected perforated plastic sleeves intended to be frozen and eaten but mistakenly put in the refrigerator.  This only happened once, but was a delicious treat.  These had no distinct flavor and zero nutritional value, but people didn't care about that as much back then.  Because finding these cold but not frozen was like finding the Ark of the Covenant (without the Nazi face melting and ancient Israelite ghosts), the one time it happened to me was awesome enough to be number 2.

1: "Purple stuff" - Made famous in Sunny Delight commercials from the 80s, purple stuff was any kind of "grape juice" that came as a powder in a canister, waiting to be mixed into cold water.  It did not taste like grapes and it was not juice, but for 10 years of my life, it was my favorite drink.

I loved these drinks, but I wouldn't drink most of them now.  What did you drink in July when you were 13?  Post your answers and comments below.


  1. Juice from concentrate .... You're bringing bac some good memories. - remi

  2. Ecto Cooler! I think it was made by Kool-aid when Ghostbusters 2 came out. I could never figure out what flavor they were reaching for. It became unbelievably worse when at about 17, it was the only thing in the fridge to mix the vodka with : P

  3. I loved Ecto Cooler! But like most of your list, I will add another mix in. Iced tea from giant canister. There was always undisolved crusty sugar at the bottom of your glass, and a chunk of solid mix in the canister because you always dripped water into it.

  4. you can't knock the king of beers, man! even if it is the lighter version ;)
    kellie june

  5. Juice from concentrate was a killer. God, I remember those stupid cans in the freezer. Still can't remember if I liked or hated it.

    5. Sunny Delight - Yup. Before their ad-campaign shortened it to the household name "Sunny D". My youth's favorite alternative to real juice.

    4. Ssips Juice Boxes - The super sweet juice box with an assortment of flavors and "juices".

    3. Arizona Iced Tea - Whether it was the bottle, gallon or juice box, you know you were gonna pour some down your throat if it was there.

    2. Capri Sun - All the cool kids had it. And pretended to turn into that silver liquid substance (like in the commercials) after consuming some. No matter how hot it got, you couldnt say no to the 'Sun.

    1. Coca-Cola. Classic. There was always a 2Liter bottle of it in the fridge because thats all my mom would ever drink with Pizza. Little did she know I was border line addicted. I even snuck that cold sugary goodness down for breakfast sometimes. So sad, in retrospect.

  6. I've always hated Yoo-Hoo!  It's like the chocolate for chocolate milk, except mixed with water!