One afternoon in June of 1994 I piled into a car with some high school friends for a last hurrah before we each embarked on our college adventures. Our ultimate destination was Yankee Stadium for the Pink Floyd concert ("top priority of the summer"), but first we hit up a bodega in Manhattan to restock on Zima, as we had already killed the sixer we bought along on the drive in.
Zima was a new, popular malt beverage at the time, pretty much created for high school students, many of whom enhanced the flavor by dropping Jolly Ranchers into each bottle. It was kind of like a wine cooler, but less sweet and sugary. Especially if you didn't drop in that Jolly Rancher flavor pellet.
Zima turned up at all the high school parties that summer, and at this point was only offered in its crystal clear form, housed in an equally transparent and simple glass bottle. One of our star soccer players would bring it to parties by the case, and would never share his bounty. Some heckled him, others tried to score a bottle off him. I didn't realize it at the time, but he was exactly the target audience Zima was going for—looking back at their commercials, they tried to appeal to men who may have otherwise thought the drink was too "girly."
It had a good run for a year or so, but Coors was thirsty for more, and in 1995 they started marketing Zima Gold, "an amber-colored beverage that promised a taste of bourbon." For some reason I had torn out an ad for this from a magazine and hung it on my wall, among other torn out pages featuring musicians like Hole and Smashing Pumpkins. I guess I thought it was funny? Because I certainly didn't want to drink it.
Soon Zima disappeared from the shelves, never to be seen again. Or so I thought; according to Wikipedia its death rattle ran through 2008.
Is America ready for a refill of "zomething different"? America is probably ready for more alcohol, at the very least. Any and all of the alcohol. So this is great timing: Zima will be making a comeback. Stock up on Ranchers and pump up the Floyd.