Skip to main content

Canned cocktails bank on childhood nostalgia (and we’re here for it)

Your childhood favorites now come with an adult upgrade

The last few years have brought forth a flood of nostalgic treats. At the end of last year, we projected that nostalgic foods and old childhood snacks from the 90s would continue to permeate the market, and we were spot on. These treats are everywhere. It seems Millennials have aged into the higher-up, big decision-making positions, and we’re reaping the benefits of their childhood nostalgia.

From Pizza Hut to Waffle Crisp, snack companies and restaurants alike have been cashing in on the radical desire for 80’s and 90’s throwbacks, and now even alcohol companies are jumping on the bandwagon with canned cocktails. Hard seltzers flavored with 90s goodness are everywhere, and we have to say – it’s about time. Dunkaroos and Fruit Roll-Ups are all well and good, but vodka-infused Sunny-D?! (insert emotionally-charged slow clap here). Yes. Just…yes.

SunnyD vodka seltzer
SunnyD

While some may squirm a bit at the thought of enjoying their favorite beloved drink from age seven, now infused with booze, we love the boldness of the whole thing. After all, those of us who enjoyed these falsely-fruity drinks when we were children are well above drinking age now, so where’s the harm? All of the nostalgically delicious flavor we love, plus a little extra fun. It’s a win-win. After all, we’re already teaching the new generation that Borg is just Jungle Juice and making water taste good isn’t a new phenomenon.

Sunny-D isn’t the only one cashing in on the trend. Lucky Charms Beer had a moment in the sun after a Virginia Beach brewery came up with the “(un) official craft beer of Saturday Morning Cartoons.” And now, Twisted Tea has teamed up with Rocket Pop (those incredible red, white, and blue popsicles) to create yet another 90s summertime throwback with a twist. Mountain Dew and Simply juices are also testing their toes in the alcohol river with hard versions of their otherwise non-alcoholic beverages, too. And it doesn’t stop there.

Twisted Tea

This trend is on fire right now, and while we love it, naturally, there are nay-sayers and pearl-clutchers who are hell-bent on ruining the fun for everyone. It should go without saying that these products are certainly not for children, nor are they being marketed to them. The old logos and designs of the 90s are meant to tug at the heartstrings of those of us over 30, not our kids’. These companies aren’t trying to pour alcohol down the throats of adolescents. Children of today have their own new sugary treats that they can spike in a decade or two if they’re so inclined, so those opposed can just cool their jets.

We Millennials are certainly here for these drinks that merge our favorite childhood memories with our more mature (?), adult selves.

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
The 2-ingredient greyhound cocktail is perfect for summer gatherings
Fresh, refreshing, and loaded with citrus. What's not to love?
Closeup glass of greyhound cocktail decorated with grapefruit at bright bar counter background.

When it comes to classic cocktails, everyone knows the iconic Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and of course the Margarita. These are timeless drinks that have never seemed to fade from bar-goers' collective thoughts. But some drinks aren’t so lucky. And it’s not that they disappeared completely, they just never got the love of some of the big-name drinks. A prime example is the Greyhound.

Not only is it refreshing and citrusy, but it’s extremely easy to make. That’s because this drink doesn’t have a half dozen ingredients with muddled fruit, herbs, sugar, and other random things. It’s only made with two ingredients. Gin or vodka and fresh grapefruit juice. Really, that’s it. The result is a fresh, tart, grapefruit-filled drink you’ll want to sip all summer long. You likely already enjoy a grapefruit-driven Paloma. Why not try a Greyhound?
When was it created?

Read more
Why the Jungle Bird deserves to be a cocktail you mix up this summer
Put this on your list of summertime go-to drinks
Jungle Bird cocktail

The beauty of the Jungle Bird cocktail is greater than the sum of its parts. It's like a musical chord: When in tune or balanced, it's one sound or note with much depth and complexity. The Jungle Bird is exactly that: A perfect harmony of rum, lime juice, pineapple juice, Demerara syrup, and bitter Campari.

Tiki cocktail expert Jeff "Beachbum" Berry first discovered the recipe. Berry published it in his book Intoxica, citing John J. Poister’s The New American Bartender’s Guide in 1989 as the original source. The cocktail was created in 1978 in the former KL Hilton’s Aviary Bar in Malaysia, and was later brought back into vogue by ex-New York City Giuseppe Gonzalez. Now, the Jungle Bird has established itself as a modern classic that deserves to be drunk for the whole summer.

Read more
How to make the controversial Singapore Sling cocktail
While its exact origins might be up for debate, the Singapre Sling has endured
Singapore Sling

Many classic cocktails have an uncertain history because of a lack of record keeping or a long game of telephone where one name or ingredient was inaccurately transformed into another over time. The Singapore Sling, however, might be the most convoluted of all because of the myriad of ingredients it contains, but there are a few things that have been uncovered thus far. For starters, the cocktail isn't even a sling.

According to renowned cocktail historian David Wondrich — who has done the work of the cocktail gods by sifting through various texts and archives to unravel when and where the cocktail originated and what was originally in it — there are a few ingredients that are a part of the recipe for certain. Gin, a cherry brandy (kirschwasser style), Bénédictine, lime juice, and a few dashes of bitters seem to be the constants based on a mention of this particular formula in the Singapore Weekly Sun in 1915.

Read more