When I was young, juice was juice!

Wow! That’s a really terrible way to start a post, and actually it’s not even true. Nobody even likes when old farts talk that way, but I guess now that I’m approaching that designation, I should be expected to talk that way.

The things that have passed for juice are just insane. I’m not even going to get into the “all-natural” fruit juices that are loaded with sugar, because you people talk enough about that stuff to drive me to drink it, but things seemed a whole lot more straight forward when I was younger, and things progressed to absolute bedlam over my lifetime.

As I grew up, the landscape of juices blew up. It wasn’t just apple or orange juice you could buy. Things like cran-apple, cran-grape, and other combinations were being manufactured, and it was totally lucrative.

As a little boy in Brooklyn, I used to nag my parents like mad to buy me the colored “juice” barrels (which I realize are nothing more than food colored sugar water.). Even the prisoners in Oz drank these.

Throughout elementary school, I was addicted to Ecto Cooler! (I also realize this was just sugar water.)


In a recent trip to Target, I was moseying through the grocery isles, and I heard an exchange between a parent and their young (5 years old or less) kid. The parent asked what kind of juice the kid wanted and gave options of apple and orange. The kid responded repeatedly and enthusiastically, “I WANT ARNOLD PALMER!!!”

The many faces of Arnold we need so many?

For those unfamiliar, an Arnold Palmer, or half and half, is a 50/50 mixture of iced tea and lemonade. It’s popular on golf courses, and comes in many incarnations (how?!) from Arizona Iced Tea Co.

Nothing about this is juice.

It’s not bad stuff, but it’s not juice. I certainly equate this with being an adult or maybe adolescent beverage; it’s usually less than what I consider sweet and has enough bitter and sour elements to be unappealing to the average child. I would have never expected kids to want to jump out of the carts to drink it, not like I was with Ecto Cooler, at least.

But I guess the world is changing and Ecto Cooler is nowhere near a comeback.


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