Straw-Ber-Ita: A Song of Life’s Changes
My girlfriend bought Bud Lite Lime Straw-ber-ita for a girl’s night last week. She’s kept them rolling around in the trunk of her Saturn since then and would pull one out every few days and drink it, either over ice as suggested or as fast as she could like it’s Kool-aid.
I’ve tasted it. Chances are I don’t have to tell you what it’s like if you’ve seen the commercial. It’s cheap, sugary strawberry syrup with lime juice and light beer. Nothing you haven’t had before in a high school house party. The commercial also mentions a Lime-a-rita we should try, which seems gratuitous since lime juice is implied by the -a-rita.
Sugar’s great, if you drink energy drinks, but I’m a coffee guy. I don’t seek things that are nice and sweet, I like bitter, sour, burning and acidic tastes. But I’ve also committed myself to the mantra that “I’m not above anything” this year so I had some reservations but ultimately drank and enjoyed the Straw-ber-ita. There’s something nostalgic about the drinks my girlfriend picks that remind me of when I first got into drinking.
My girlfriend is younger than me. That’s nothing unusual, and it makes sense because when I was in high school all the girls I had crushes on were dating older boys and I internalized it and learned to bide my time and seethe in the shadows until it was my turn to date younger girls.
As a consequence I’m a more experienced drinker, or at least that’s what I like to think. There’s obvious evidence to the contrary: 16 to 21 was kind of a self-destructive alcoholic blur where I drank to black out, sometimes twice, three times a week and acted slutty, sick and reckless. But now I’m just a bored-as-hell, workin’ it all-day every-day, twenty-four year old child and drinking is a constructive hobby I approach with a healthy dose of fear, patience and duty.
When I buy alcohol, my primary drive in brand selection is the season (in an oh-so-typically-Minnesotan way). I know I like hard cider in early fall, shiraz in late fall/early winter, brandy with cream in deep winter, beer through spring, and I have every hard liquor through summer. It’s almost July and so far I’ve only gotten up to rum. I’ve also noticed the amount of money I spend on alcohol is directly related to self esteem. The more I value myself, the better booze I deserve. The less I value myself, the more I deserve punishment.
Taste, and the ability for a drink to complete the image I want to visualize myself drinking it in. That’s how I pick bottles: the fantasy of a perfect situation of complementing notes, feelings, temperatures, weights, brightness, and all environmental factors which I attempt to pair when I make the time to enjoy food, drink, and peace.
Part of the thrill of drinking is finding new things to try, and how they fit in with your life. In that sense, I’m thankful for Straw-ber-ita. The silly pre-show chug in a parking garage or the blissed-out sips on the first beach day of the summer; those moments become memories because there’s something to pair with them. And damn if it ain’t a Straw-ber-ita.