MillerCoors (I didn't know that was the corporate name) has ended production of Zima, the Sprite of malt beverages. When it first came out nationwide in the summer of 1993, my high school friends who went to Pitt introduced me to it. I wasn't a hard-core beer drinker at the time, and here was this vaguely fruity-tasting thing that was just as cool as beer to drink at a party. Cooler, even. So I became something of a Zima fan. I would seek it out at parties, ask my friends to get it for me, and told everyone I knew to try it. It was a wild ride.
Soon, the wheels came off my Zima party bus. I had a small party for my friends in the Georgetown orchestra in the spring of 1994 and got a six-pack of Zima along with beer and hard liquor. Liz drank a couple of bottles of Zima, then switched to the crappy vodka I had on hand. Her evening ended with her getting sick all over my apartment, then looking like death for a few hours before she pulled back from the abyss. A few months later we had a party to celebrate the end of the semester, and I had five beers and one Zima. But that one Zima got me drunker than anything else I had that night, and I think I made a fool of myself that evening but I can't remember the details. I'm sure there were other instances like these; Zima was a fixture at most parties that year.
It wasn't long before we realized that a) we got too drunk too fast on Zima and b) it tasted like lime juice spiked with urine. Also, everyone we knew thought Zima was for girls. We moved on to beer and bourbon, Zima tried to re-brand itself as a drink for men, and then Smirnoff Ice came along and put Zima out of its misery.
I salute you, Zima. By being so awful, you taught me what good alcohol should taste like.
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