With the deadline for this weekly blog post quickly approaching (and then passing -- sorry, editor) and a very minimal amount of cash in my pocket after paying rent, I did what any responsible booze blogger would do: I went to the corner store by my apartment and purchased a variety of delightfully trashy beverages. If you've read any of my previous articles, you know I have a penchant for fancy $10 cocktails, so a 40 of Old English simply wouldn't do. I wanted something a little more exotic. I scoured the rows of brightly colored cans and bottles and grabbed a few things that looked interesting, then drove the 45 seconds back to my apartment and threw it all in my freezer so it'd be nice and cold.
Behold, my selections:
(The Starburst really have nothing to do with this, I just figured they'd be a nice complement to the trifecta of fruity booze I was purchasing. By the way, the "Summer Fun Fruit" flavors are neither summery nor fun.)
Colt 45 Blast Strawberry Lemonade, 24 ounces, 12 percent alcohol for $2.49. I popped the top open and poured some into a rocks glass, noticing first the color, a disturbing shade of nuclear hot pink not found in nature. Then I went in for a smell: so saccharine-sweet it made my eyes water. The taste: No discernible strawberry or lemon, just a flavor that I could only describe as melted Popsicle plus a slight alcohol burn to let you know it's working. This would be an excellent starter beverage for say, a high school cheerleader. I'm no mathlete, but after some basic calculations I discerned that drinking this can is the equivalent of drinking more than four cans of regular beer. That's a goddamn bargain if I've ever seen one. I was hoping this stuff would grow on me after a few sips, and it kind of did -- I stopped grimacing after every sip, at least. And I did start to feel warm and fuzzy after just half a glass.
Johnny Bootlegger Sour Apple Alcatraz, 6.8 ounces, 12 percent alcohol for $1.99. A product of our fine neighbors to the north -- thanks, Canada! I've never heard of this brand "Johnny Bootlegger" before, but each flavor was named after a famous prison; I passed on Sing Sing Sour Grape because artificially grape-flavored things rarely agree with me. Are they named after prisons because their products taste like wine you'd make with trash bags and fruit juice while incarcerated, or are they trying to market towards the thuggish gang member demographic? Who knows? Anyway, the Sour Apple Alcatraz is a bizarre shade of ethereal neon green. If it was a paint color, it'd be called "Fairy Wings". One whiff of this stuff actually activated my gag reflex. It smells like liquefied sour apple Blow Pops with a hint of gasoline, and tastes exactly the same. Yeah, no. I needed to chug way more of that strawberry lemonade BS before I'd even consider drinking this.
Tropical Chillerz Orange Chiller, 6.3 ounces, a whopping 17 percent alcohol, $2.29. I was actually kind of excited to try this -- the label says it contains real fruit juice! And it even looks like orange juice when you pour it into a glass! Plus it's in this adorable little round pod that looks like something my mom would've put in my lunchbox in elementary school. Then I noticed the fine print that says "Other than standard orange wine with orange juice & other natural flavors." Other than standard? That sounded none too promising, perhaps just a different way of saying "substandard," and it smelled like a terribly strong screwdriver with an unmistakable hint of ethanol. (My boyfriend claimed it smelled like nail polish remover, and went so far as to retrieve a bottle from the bathroom for a side-by-side comparison.) I had to psych myself up a little to actually taste this, and it pretty much tastes like poison. Probably best to avoid this one.
So then I had the drunken genius idea of using the leftovers to mix a cocktail. Turns out that if you mix a bunch of shitty alcohol together, it doesn't make it any better, it just brings all the horrible qualities together into one evil sip. Cool! Anyway, lesson learned: I'll stick to beer when I'm looking for a cheap gas station buzz. I'm gonna go chug a huge glass of water and eat some nachos now; I fully expect to be hungover by 8 p.m. or so.