8 Boozy Drinks That No Longer Exist in the U.S.A.
If you ever catch yourself dreaming of a frosty bottle of Zima or a sweet sip of a Bacardi Breezer, you’re not alone. These vintage refreshers have a special place in many people’s hearts. They may not have been the best beverages out there, but they had undeniable character. And with the recent spate of beverage revivals—including Crystal Pepsi and Ecto-Cooler—it’s not foolish to harbor hopes that one day these others might make a comeback too. Take a look back at these eight now-defunct boozy offerings (R.I.P.) and reminisce about the good times.
Zima lived its short life as a citrusy, crystalline drink somewhere between a wine cooler and beer—and it never quite caught on. It was marketed by Coors as a “clear malt beverage” with “Zomething different.” That mysterious persona is probably what ended up killing it for good in the U.S. in 2008, though it lives on in Japan.
Bacardi Breezer, like Zima, saw its Stateside demise in the late aughts. Available in flavors like Crisp Apple, Bursting Blueberry and Tropical Lime, the Breezers fell under a category known as “alcopops,” which were often accused of appealing primarily to underage drinkers. While extinct in the U.S., the brightly colored bottles are still available north of the border in Canada.
Four Loko (the original)
A favorite of college kids for its all-in-one blend of 12-percent ABV and caffeine, the first incarnation of Four Loko didn’t last long in the U.S. It proved to be potent enough to cause some damage and eventually inspired a ban on products that combine alcohol and caffeine. Though Four Loko lives on in a caffein-free state, the original formula has not been forgotten—especially in China where it’s still sold and known as "lose virginity liquor.”
Touted as a “Chelada style light beer with a hint of lime,” Miller Chill bit the dust in 2013—just six years after launching—after enduring a legal battle with Bud Light Lime and years of declining sales. Beer Advocate reviewers gave the beer a score of 52 (“awful”), and one reviewer said, “This is a lot like Bud Light Lime, but worse. It tastes stale and metallic. Also, where Bud Light Lime is at least refreshing, this one is not.” Ouch.
Now only found in Mexico, Skyy Blue comes from the same company as—you guessed it—Skyy Vodka. This malt beverage proved about as popular in the U.S. as Zima and Miller Chill, leaving the market around 2004, though you can still own your very own six-pack if you scour Ebay—is $1,000 too much?
Bud Ice Light
Though Bud Light and Bud Ice are wildly successful products, the amalgam of the two—Bud Ice Light—didn’t go over as well and was discontinued in 2010.
Discontinued in 2009, Tequiza was on the market for—shockingly—more than a decade before its overlords at Budweiser began pushing Bud Light Lime as its replacement. This so-called “fruit beer” got its flavor from “blue agave nectar and a natural flavor of imported tequila and lime.” Sad you missed out? Budweiser launched the tequila-flavored beer Oculto in 2015, but it also hasn’t gone over well—Anheuser-Busch announced that it’s pulling the plug, so get at it while you can.
Aftershock Thermal Bite Liqueur
Considering its striking resemblance to aftershave, we’re surprised Aftershock’s minty liqueur lasted as long as it did. After seven good years, it was put out of its brightly colored misery in 2009. But not all is lost, dear Aftershock fans; the brand lives on with flavors like Blue, Black and Red.