Illustration by Alex Balosie
Distance breeds nostalgia. Looking back into the coolers and at liquor-store shelves during the totally tubular decade, you can find the groundwork for some of the innovation that would alter the beverage landscape for years to come—from adding fruit flavors to everything to canning cocktails. Let’s jump in the DeLorean, hit 88 m.p.h. and sample these blasts from the past to answer the question, “Where are they now?”
Who Drank It: Darn Near Everybody
Thanks to memorable advertising, the Swedish vodka went mainstream in the 1980s giving the spirit artistic cache. It also helped introduce the concept of flavored vodka, notably in 1986 with Peppar, a spicy version and runaway success.
Where is it today? Still around, placed among the endless stream of vodka flavors that range from birthday cake to bacon, pickle juice and orange peel.
Bartles & Jaymes
Who Drank It: Not Only People Sitting on Porches
A duo with even more cultural impact than Crockett and Tubbs, Frank Bartles and Ed Jaymes, fictional founders of “premium” wine coolers from Bartles & Jaymes, defined a decade of laidback sipping. Dozens of fruit flavor variations were introduced during its first iteration, served in torpedo-shaped bottles wrapped with paper around the neck.
Where is it today? The brand lives on, now in cans, and conceivably as inspiration for the many spritzer-like graband-gos becoming more and more popular.