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Friday, July 12, 2019

Flask Friday! The 1984 Wine Cooler Recipe

I know what you are thinking: wine coolers are disgusting.
Give this recipe a try. It will be a lot cooler if you did.

And you are right; the ones they sell in bottles today are disgusting. And you know what? Most don't even have wine in them. Whaaaaat?

And here's the other surprising thing: the history of wine coolers is somewhat of interesting.

Let's go back to the year 1981. You are on a beach in Santa Cruz. You've got your party polo shirt on and you are blasting some Yacht Rock on the AM/FM radio. Some guy named Michael Crete gives you a drink that tastes like Lisa Frank in a glass. You are enjoying the very first wine cooler.

Michael Crete worked in wine and beer sales; so on the weekends, he was the main party guy. He began to mix drinks just for fun. He put some pineapple, grapefruit, lemon-lime juices in a glass with some wine and a bit of club soda and he called it the California Cooler.

Later, he would team up with his old high school friend, Stuart Bewley, and together they began bottling and selling the California Cooler. At the time, there was a surplus of California wine from the central valley, so the drink had enormous profit potential due to the low price of wine.

By 1984, sales were in the millions. People loved the fruity sweet concoction. Women began drinking it, assuming it was healthier than other alcoholic beverages because it had "real" fruit juice. Apparently, they didn't know about sugar in the 80s.

1987 was the peak year for wine coolers.  Earnest and Julio Gallo, Seagrams, and Bartles and Jaymes were all selling wine coolers as well. Seagrams even got Bruce Willis to sling their wine cooler commercials. Fact: I still remember the terrible song to this day; and now I give that earworm to you.

I would not want to hang out on a porch with any of those dudes....except the dog. I'd drink a wine cooler with that dog.

Anyway, cut to the early 90s when the US raise the excise tax on wine. It was no longer profitable to use wine in the wine coolers, so companies started using malt liquor instead. The change in taste and the change in culture inevitably led to the downfall of the wine cooler. The only group still drinking wine coolers were the under-age drinkers.

Admit it; you for sure had a wine cooler or two in your pre-21 days.

But guess what? Just like mom jeans and conservative politics- wine coolers are back; only now some companies are making them with wine again.

But why are they back? Well, I propose it's because our current political climate mirrors that of the 1980s, so why not drink a beverage synonymous with the time? I mean, we had terrible taste in politicians then and we have even worse taste now.

Smiling through the end times.
And look, the wine cooler doesn't have to be gross. I put together a recipe that is actually quite good. Just don't drink more than 2; you will have a terrible hangover. I know this because I'm writing this post with a terrible hangover. I call this one the 1984 Wine Cooler cocktail to not only pay homage to the decade but also the Orwell book. Because we are living in a trash fire of a world.



The 1984 cocktail:


  • 6oz white dry wine (I recommend a pinot grigio; I also recommend that you don't use Franzia like I did)
  • 2oz of vodka (I used Absolut)
  • 3oz of peach juice
  • 2oz of hibiscus juice
  • splash of lemon juice
  • splash of club soda
  • garnish with lemon and lime.
And here's a video of me making the cocktail. I pretended to be a fancy 1980s lady and the voice I use is annoying as hell. Watch at your own risk.







1 comment:

JMo said...

Love the dance cuts!!

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