Monday, June 6, 2016

Chill out, with Ecto Cooler.

Hey everybody! I'm not sure if you've heard, but it seems that Ecto Cooler is back. If you've never heard of Ecto Cooler, it was a drink released by Hi-C in the late 80's in conjunction with the Real Ghostbusters cartoon. It used Slimer as the mascot, and it turned out to be immensely popular. It was finally discontinued in 2001, much to the disappointment of the flavor's fans. And now it's back, as part of the promotion of the new Ghostbusters reboot. I'm not sure anyone expected Coca Cola to actually re-release it, but c'mon. Why wouldn't they? It's one of the most popular drinks of all time, tied in with one of the most popular movie and cartoon franchises of all time. Forget having a license to print money. That's like having a stream of $100 bills overflowing out of your pockets 24 hours a a day.

I have to admit, I don't actually have any nostalgic feelings for Ecto Cooler. I remember it existing, I saw it in stores, but I don't know that I ever tried it. And if I did, it didn't make enough of an impact to stick in my memory. My most poignant Hi-C memory is going through the boxes in the local SuperFresh, trying to find the variety packs that came with a reprint of X-Men #1. I may have come across a box or two of Ecto Cooler, but since they weren't packed with a free comic, I didn't care. I guess I was more of a Capri Sun drinker back then. Still, when I heard it was being re-released, I managed to get caught up in excitement with everyone else. Not because I missed it, but because I would get to try it for the first time.

You can have your Ecto Cooler two different ways, by the box, or by the can. Grocery stores and the like will carry the juice boxes, while the cans are available exclusively online, or at Cinemark theaters. Since my Food Lions all seem oblivious to the presence of sugary ectoplasm, I went the Amazon route. Two days later, and I had a case of nice, warm Ecto Cooler waiting for me when I got home.

Since we don't want the kiddies drinking down cans of Hi-C Ecto Cooler two at a time, Slimer's no longer plastered on the fronts of the boxes and cans. Now the only bit of movie tie-in branding is the "Ghostbusters: Only in Theaters" message at the top. Speaking of messages, I'm not sure if you saw the one saying "Cool the can. See the slime", but after the cans have been in the fridge for a bit, they come out looking like this:

It's been slimed! I'm always a sucker for a gimmick, even if it is a slight change in color. With the yellow highlights now green, the look of the can is completely changed. Oh man, I bet they could have snuck Slimer on there if they really wanted to..

I've always heard that this stuff was green, but I didn't realize just how green. I've seen cartoon radiation that wasn't as green as Ecto Cooler. Hell, I'm not even sure Slimer was this green. It's actually a rather beautiful shade, and it reminds me of some of the algae we deal with where I work. I can't help but be reminded of some of the toy slimes that I used to get from vending machines. They were never quite as thick as the stuff made by the big toy companies, and I remember having some that were right around the same shade of green.That fact was not lost upon me when I was taking my first sip.

I'm happy to say, that Ecto Cooler tastes just as good as it looks. From what I understand, it's sort of an orange/tangerine mix, and I get that. Almost like Fresca, but without the lime or carbonation. Or the grapefruit. Okay, so maybe it isn't like Fresca at all. Surprisingly, it isn't awfully sweet, and the sugar seems to be toned down, no doubt due to the fact it uses high fructose corn syrup now. It's actually rather smooth for a citrus drink, and I would feel completely normal swirling the sweet green ooze around in a large brandy snifter, while I lounge in my bathrobe and chomp on pretzel sticks. That might become my new Saturday night ritual.

So, if you're a new fan, or an old one, go get yourself a case or two. You can check out the official site at Ecto-Cool, and they'll give you a heads up on which stores are carrying the paranormal punch.

And, if you want to read the ramblings of a true Ecto Cooler fan, just go visit Matt, at Dinosaur Dracula.

Note to self: Immediately trademark the term "Paranormal Punch".
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