Zima Is Back In Newport (For A Limited Time)

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Will nostalgia overcome everyone’s real memories of drinking Zima?

It was dead (except in Japan) and then someone decided to bring it back to life. Zima has returned to the shelves of Bridge Liquors after a couple decades’ absence, meaning that Newporters can once again taste the ’90s again. There are few drinks as locked in time for so many people as Zima. The first sip will likely bring flashbacks of Belly, Hypercolor t-shirts and the X-Games at Fort Adams.

Then it will all start to go downhill pretty quick. Miller-Coors decided to bring back Zima because they figure they can make a quick bang for the buck off of everyone’s nostalgia. Unfortunately, it likely won’t take long for everyone to remember why this particular beverage spent most of it’s life in limited production after millions upon millions of dollars were spent on marketing campaigns that just couldn’t overcome the central problem that Zima didn’t taste very good…in the ’90s.



Yay, ’90s nostalgia!

The ’90s were pretty cool in a bunch of ways. The music was good. Rock was huge, rejuvenated by waves of “grunge” and “alternative”. Hip-hop became mainstream. Cars recovered from a two-decade slump and got exciting again. TV was all Seinfeld and Friends, and, on Fridays, Full House and Family Matters…(or if you were a little more subversive, Kids in the Hall reruns on the brand-new Comedy Central.)  Movies were good, though, aside from Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park, the CGI got a bit too ambitious for the special effects budgets.

The problem is nostalgia is that our brains tend to put a bigger effort into remembering the good stuff that happened. This gets compounded by the fact that everyone was younger and dumber at the time they first had those experiences and entered them into their long term memory. So everyone loves Friends and everyone remembers ’90s fashions being pretty cool…but if you watch an episode from the first couple seasons you find yourself thinking “I remember this episode and it’s funny and I love the characters but…WTF are they wearing?!?!

Unfortunately, not everything ’90s was great!

The problem with the ’90s was that while there were lots of things that were good, the alcoholic beverages were not one of them. Essentially, the two main innovations that came out of the ’90s were ice beers (which took Bud and cranked it up to 5.5% abv by freezing off some of the water in the beer) and Zima, this amazing new clear drink that looked like it was from the future with its super stylish glass bottles. Zima is kind of odd, because it’s brewed like beer…but then they take all the beer stuff out of it and replace it with…sort of soda.

The result is this malt beverage aftertaste that liquor companies have been fighting against for a couple decades now and have only recently started overcoming. The actual flavor itself is this unique taste that you never really forget, because there’s always so much anticipation…generally followed by disappointment.



So Bad It’s Good

If there’s one thing that the ’90s had a bit too much of it was cheesy styles and bad websites. CEOs demanded that their companies get their own websites with little regard for what they actually did.

If you missed this teething stage of the Internet, it’s probably for the best. If you didn’t, then do we have a treat for you. Zima has a new website and it’s quite “retro”, in that it embraces the very worst of the ’90s online excesses in the best way possible. Imagine those days of going to the mall and strolling into Structure. Now click here.

How To Make Zima Tolerable

If you buy a 6-pack, either to pop your Zima cherry or to take a trip down memory lane, you may discover that the flavor has a bit to be desired. What to do? You could follow the example of another malt beverage, Smirnoff Ice, and start “icing” your friends.

Alternatively, you could add a shot of Chambord. We’ve never done this ourselves, as we drank perhaps half a Zima one time in high school before giving up on the stuff, but apparently some scientists trying to develop the girliest drink ever came up with that recipe…and it caught on.

Anyhow, Zima is back, for a limited time, so if you think you want to have some, do it fast.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Girly Drink Correspondent


Tristan's just this guy, ya know?