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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Z End

On October 10, MillerCoors LLC stopped production on the original malternative* taste sensation. I'm speaking, of course, about Zima.

Zima entered the alcoholic beverage market at about the same time I entered the binge drinking market (Junior high! Catholic school, baby!!**), so I have some pretty fond memories of the stuff. It tasted like kind of f-ed up semi-malty 7Up, but less sweet, and since I didn't like beer very much and had a hard time pounding enough to get sozzled, Zima was sort of a lifesaver. You know, the kind of lifesaver that shortens your life and makes you a thousand times more likely to do something stupid--just ask my alcoholic whore of an ex-roommate and her alcoholic whore of a best buddy, who would, say, wake up shoeless on an unfamiliar stoop, plate of food in one hand, underpants in the other--tights strangely still in place.

It was the whores that introduced me to a Zima upgrade: adding a shot of Chambord to change the color to a pleasing raspberry, and improving the flavor quite a bit. Also, the Chambord bottle is cute. It has a crown on the top. That felt very regal. You could also flirt with the bartender, who would be held captive by your need to take a swig from the bottle before the shot was added. Besides, the second time you wake up on a stoop, you remember whose it is, and if you were tipping the bartender well all night, he or she probably stuffed a few bills into your tights for a cab home once you regained consciousness. Win-win-win. Win.

At some point, they introduced something called Zima Gold to the market. Let me tell you about Zima Gold. Zima Gold is most definitely the only drink they'll offer you in Hell. Zima Gold tastes a lot like if regular Zima peed off all its citrus tang, then got peed on by a Natty Light, then drank up all that pee, and then killed itself with a healthy dose of caramel color that also tastes like beer pee. I swear to God it's so bad, it tastes like it never gets cold. I'm probably shitting on pee by saying Zima Gold tastes like it. If it was possible to bottle the flavor of a damp-yet-sticky cigarette butt-strewn gas station bathroom in the form of an amber malternative beverage, then there would never have been a need in this world for Zima Gold. Zima Gold is so bad, I kept a bottle of it just to remind me that there really is evil in this world. This bottle of Zima Gold has moved with me at least seven times, and it's never taken any damage. Think about it. Damn. Anyway, Zima Gold did not last long in the market. It was, perhaps, an early sign that Zima might not be in it for the long haul.

I have a recipe written in my copy of Joy of Cooking for a refreshing Zima punch. This is it almost exactly, I just added clarity to the Wyler's part. There really is a smile face:
5 Zimas (64 ozish)
1/2 c sugar
1 packet Wyler's Black Cherry drink mix
Splash of juice
Add 151 @ user's discretion
Speaking of recipes, I've been secretly replacing Jason's stash of comedian-approved Sierra Mist with a concoction of Zima Citrus and Karo Syrup for about 5 years now. He drinks six 20-oz bottles a day, or more. He's probably going to have wicked DTs once the supply of Zima runs out. I wonder if Smirnoff Ice would work. Or if I can convince him to switch to lemonade...nah, he'll probably catch on to that.

They say the supply of Zima will last until about December. I guess that's MillerCoors LLC's holiday gift to malternative purists. If I can get my hands on some, I'll be sure to tip some out and say something like, "This is for my homie who will soon not be here...Zima. See you when I get there in that gangsta lean."

*Sadly, I did not make that word up. F'in marketers, am I right? They're GOOD.
**I might be slightly misrepresenting my age. A touch. You're only as old as the tail you can pull, and trust, I can pull some young-ass tail.

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