|Posted on July 28, 2010 at 6:06 PM|
Not/Quite Remembering: Ecto Cooler
I remember my family had just moved into this quaint little two-bedroom home just down the street from the Elementary school I would be attending. I remember watching some cartoons, the bunny ear antennas battle the airwaves to receive a picture, and this little thing popped up onto the screen:
So now I could not only have Ghostbusters outside of my self with the cartoon, movies and toys, not to mention comics and clothing and soundtracks. Now I could actually have Ghostbusters IN my body?
Seven year old mind....officially blown.
Now there was the cereal right before this, and it also had some pretty spectacular hologram boxes that I often cut off and collected in its later years, but to be honest I didn’t like it all that much. I preferred Lucky Charms at the time, or Cocoa Pebbles which I actually still eat. Strangely, though, I felt more obligated to eat the Ghostbusters cereal than actually enjoy it.
There was also a “hologram” of Michael Jordon on a Sports Illustrated cover one time....I shouldn’t have cut that one off, it turns out.
But Ecto Cooler I did enjoy. In fact, it was about all I drank as a kid. According to the mighty Wikipedia, the flavor came out in 1987, which sounds exactly right because I was in the first grade and I remember packing it into my lunches for school.
In a Ghostbusters lunchbox, I might add. I had three lunchboxes during those elementary school years. An old tin Scooby-Doo lunchbox, which apparently is now a collectors item, and two plastic Ghostbusters lunch boxes. The early one, as in up to about grade three, was red, the grades after that was a blue one until I just started taking sacks to school.
I guess it was kind of fitting. Lunchbox...Ecto Cooler. Match made in heaven. I bet on days I wore my Ghostbusters shirt (and I had Ghostbusters shoes at one point too), I’m betting it all looked rather...odd.
(Ebay here I come)
I also remember many times going on Ecto Cooler benders where my mom couldn’t keep us stocked at all, even when buying cases of the thing. The taste was citrusy, a blend of orange and a lot of tangy tasting stuff my old flavor memories likened to a green grape only not as sour and bitter. Summer outdoors = Ecto Cooler. Saturday morning cartoons = Ecto Cooler. Family outings = Ecto Cooler.
It never occurred to me at the time, but what is “Ecto Cooler” anyways? Is it a play on “coolant” as in coolant for the Ecto-1 vehicle? Is it referring to ectoplasm with “cooler” to add in the sense of “refreshing cool drink?” Is it just “cool” in general? As a kid, I never really thought about it, it just had Slimer on the cover and that was enough.
And as an adult, I should probably not think too much. Just drink and be happy, old man.
(The Unabridged edition of LOTR)
Apparently, while the “Ecto Cooler” name ended in the late 90s, the flavor itself lasted through 2007 and went through various name changes. Orange Lavaburst and Shoutin’ (yes, that’s without a g) Orange Tangergreen. Same flavor, stupid names. Either way, though, if any of it were still around, I could certainly buy it, without question. It's a juice box, and I would walk proudly down the streets here in LA and drink the hell out of it. Seeing as how it's so fondly, I'm willing to bet most people would ask me where I got it and if they could have a sip.
But guess what? It kind of is still around...only now in adult form. Apparently its pop-culture status is undying, and there’s even an alcoholic drink now dubbed the “Ecto Cooler” as an homage. It’s one package of lemon-lime mix, 20oz of Vodka, 1 sliced lemon, 1 sliced lime, 1 cup of sugar and then fill with water and ice into a 1/2 gallon pitcher. There’s variations, apparently. One quick google search and the recipe is right there for you to embark on an alcoholic experiment with. So...I tried it out.
And you know what? I can’t remember if that’s what Ecto Cooler tasted like exactly, but it’s a damn flavorful mixed drink either way.
Bartender! More Ecto!
I suppose that will have to do for now, although I should watch the ecto benders I once succumbed to.
(Drunks are closer than they appear)
I can’t think of a lot of other drinks I enjoyed as a kid. At least not on this level. There’s no denying that the Ghostbusters tie-in had a lot to do with it for me...but it was also a pretty damn good flavor to. So much so that there’s even a campaign to try and bring it back (There’s also a regular Ecto Cooler page too, just for fans, and someone stole my idea for ectocooler.com) Maybe if the Ghostbusters franchise, with the success of the recent game and potential new movie, is able to be resurrected, then I can pretty much bet they’d bring this often beloved drink back to the market.
Wow...”beloved” in reference to a fruit drink...that’s a first, I bet.