Remember life before craft beers, aged bourbon, and organic cocktails dutifully created by certified mixologists? Times were simpler back then. Before our palates grew up, we spent our college years satisfied with light beer, cheap handles, and even cheaper bottles of wine. We didn't need to spend more than $10 for a good time — and when we did, we had to eat spaghetti and tuna sandwiches for a week. In homage to that bygone era, we surveyed everyone's favorite nostalgic beers, cocktails, liquor, and everything in between.
A party wasn't a party unless you had a red cup full of fruity vodka with an even fruitier mixer — like Hi-C or Fruitopia. We never really cared how much sugar was being consumed, because it tasted like we were sipping on liquid fruit. And that's delicious.
Don't get us wrong — there's nothing wrong with an ice-cold 40 after a hard day of... any type of strenuous activity. 40s were the best option for those weeks when you were fresh out of cash and itching for a nice night. You've got choices, too: Cold 45, Steel Reserve, or St. Ides if you're feeling fancy.
3. Light Beer
Light beer was always the inexpensive party-friendly drink for you and fifty of your closest buds. Of course, we all know what would happen the minute you broke the seal. We love light beer — it's like soda that makes you want to hug everybody.
Peach schnapps. Peppermint schnapps. Blackberry schnapps. ALL the schnapps! No flavor seemed to be safe from the delicious schnapps clutch. People loved it — it was traded around like black market diamonds and lovingly drank without conviction.
This stuff was more delicious than words can even express. It was the perfect segue from soda to beer that taught you how properly work on a nice buzz. We're 99% sure everyone's first drink was Mike's.
Oh, delicious, misunderstood Goldschlager. Pulled out for special occasions like three-month anniversaries and Fridays, the obvious appeal of drinking REAL GOLD amplified its sweet, cinnamon bite. Guys, real gold. Can you even believe it?!
7. Liquor Cabinet Punch
Okay, to be fair — why wouldn't you think mixing scotch with vodka and whiskey and Kahlua would make the ultimate forbidden cocktail. It took a lot of trial and error before we realized that the main component in a mixed drink shouldn't be six different types of liquors. Our parents' liquor cabinets were locked for a reason.
Five liters of anything for $10 is a hell of a bargain. Franzia wasn't just the best boxed wine, it was the best wine period. This goliath cardboard monster took us on a guided tour of Funtown before it dropped us off in Sleepyville, U.S.A.
Everyone's starter whiskey. Leftover as a relic from the days of our parents' generation, a bottle of Canadian Club was always within arms reach and, thanks to Mad Men, the classiest whiskey we could get our hands on.
10. Jungle Juice
There were two drink options at any party in America: beer and jungle juice. The tough guys went for the beer, while the connoisseurs downed the Jungle J. The recipe varied from county to county, but it was mainly just... well, juice and rum. Guess it really didn't vary that much.
Anything and everything could be converted into a shot back before we knew any better. Whiskey? Shot. Jäger? Shot. Wine? Shot. Beer? Shot. Gin? Double shot. We took so many shots that we started to forget that glasses held more than an ounce of liquid.
The cream of the crop. The icing on the cake. The ultimate party accessory. No one knew what was in Jäger — I think some scientists tried to figure it out once, but mysteriously disappeared before they could reach a conclusion. All we knew was that it was exotic, tasted like black licorice, and made us want to kiss other people.
Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and — just like Billy Mays — parties like it's $19.99.