With my schedule wide open last evening, I felt a little itchy to embark outside the house and was pleased to discover Belmont Station, a bar up the street, was hosting a Zima party. That’s correct. Zima is back, people – for a limited time. As it was a throwback soirée, I donned a flannel and cutoff jeans, then hoofed it over. 4 Non Blondes was playing as I took my first sip, waiting for nostalgia to fully kick in. The taste was not quite as tangy as I recall. Could it be the recipe is more subtle now, to suit our modern, artisanally-addled palates? Or maybe it was just 20+ years ago I drank my last Zima and I just don’t really remember the flavor. Still, the memories flowed with every sparkling gulp…

It was 1994 and my best friend Nancy did not like beer. Whenever we could find someone old enough to purchase us alcohol (instead of swiping swigs from her roommate’s weird liquor collection), we went straight for the Zima. Similar to spiked 7-up, it was refreshing and pretty innocuous. We threw a series of parties at her off-campus apartment on weekend nights, where we’d end up singing various cheesy hits into our bottles. The parties grew in size over time and I began to insist we decorate the ceiling with streamers, kid barrettes and dolls from Goodwill. I’d once read about the wild shindigs thrown by members of The B-52’s back when they were first starting out. The dolls suspended from above stuck with me as a sign of serious festivities taking place. Other times, Nancy and I would simply be hanging around listening to AM Gold radio, thinking of the perfect call-in requests while putting off homework. Once we tried phoning the hotline on the Zima label. I can’t dredge up what we said when someone answered, but there was a lot of cracking up involved.

By the way, when I selected my bottle last night, which was half-submerged in a pink bucket of ice, it was sporting a red dot on the bottom. Which meant I won some Belmont Station sunglasses that actually aren’t too ugly to wear.


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