Oh, to be young and foolish and drunk. Putting together the Weekly’s Booze Issue brought back pleasant and painful memories of nights hitting up bars and days knocking back pints. And it brought up nostalgia (with a healthy dose of embarrassment) for our drinks of yore—the strong, silly, budget-friendly beverages we drank before we knew better. What did you drink back in the day?
During my time at the University of Arizona, my friends and I would put our end-of-the-keg Keystone Light (quantity over quality always seemed to win in those days) from a previous night’s party to good use the next day. The creative concoction (taught to us by a friend) is called a Pink Panty Dropper, and it’s basically a ghetto version of the classic shandy. Mix your day-old keg beer with a half-handle of vodka (we’d use the cost-effective Popov) and a few cans of frozen pink lemonade concentrate. Serve over ice and enjoy! These days, I tend to reach for a Stone IPA instead. –Mark Adams
I was never a cool kid. I didn't start drinking until I was 21. Then I did the typical girl thing and drank vodka-crans or screwdrivers. Until one fateful night when I discovered Jack Daniels and rugburn that lasts for weeks. My life just hasn't been the same since. –April Corbin
What do you get when you crave the sophistication of wine on a PBR budget? Carlo Rossi for $9.99 a gallon. Our flavor of choice was Vin Rose (or perhaps Paisano); our preferred vessel of consumption the Solo cup; our environment a college dorm room perched on a Craigslist couch over a rug dotted with burn holes from hookah coals. I stopped buying the stuff (and struggling through the hangover) years ago, but I wouldn’t trade those wine-hazed memories for the world. –Sarah Feldberg
I forget the name, but I know it was $8. It came in a dark green bottle with an inoffensive label, and I used to buy one for each hand at the local 24-hour grocery from this hot Indian guy with braces.
“You like white wine,” he eventually said, as if to reassure himself. My housemates and I would gather in the kitchen and drink it standing up, out of Dixie cups and coffee mugs, talking about how Dan the grocery store guy was my soul mate. It was cold, crisp and over-sweet, like a ripe red apple about to rot in the crisper. It was training wheels.
At the bottom of the first bottle after Friday midterms, we planned my seduction. I would stand in Dan’s checkout and send a single, long-stemmed rose down the conveyor. As soon as he saw it he would know. At the bottom of the second bottle, we walked to the store. I chickened out at the last second, and instead of a rose, I sent a bag of sad gummy bears toward Dan and his gleaming smile. He asked what the occasion was.
“Your birthday?” I said.
“I’m a Jehovah’s Witness,” he said. –Erin Ryan
Like many in my age group, my beer choices in college in the mid-’80s were purely budget-based. It was not uncommon for me to shoot straight past the six-packs of the newest import right to the Lucky Lager—still, to this day, the most vile swill I have ever tasted. Even to my unrefined palate, this was disgusting stuff. I remember one night of Lucky Lager indulgence, looking at the bottle I was drinking out of and becoming acutely aware that it looked ... used. What does it say about me that I finished the beer anyway?
I also splurged heavily on cases of what my buddies and I called “lake beers”—cheap, watery, easy-to-drink cans you could spend a whole day at the lake drinking. This is where Schaefer, Blatz, Old Milwaukee and Pabst Blue Ribbon came in mighty handy. They never let us down. I have to say, I’ve never lost my taste for PBR. I drink it to this day—look down your nose at me all you like.
But there’s one beer in particular I have no excuse for drinking. I was making good money by the late-’90s and could have bought pretty much anything I want. But damned if I didn’t go through a Tequiza phase. For those of you who don’t remember, Tequiza was an attempt to marry the flavors of tequila, a Corona and a lime. Why I didn’t just stick with Corona and lime is beyond me, but trust me, I suffered the embarrassed stares of my peers whenever I’d pull one of these from the fridge.
Hey, at least I never drank Zima. –Ken Miller