We’re officially at the “everything is spiked” phase of the pandemic

Simply Lemonade, Mountain Dew, and Topo Chico are just a few that have hopped on the spiked trend.

Photo: Coca-cola
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We’re starting season 3 of a pandemic that was supposed to last two weeks so of course, we’ve been drinking more. It’s like we’re living in the Roaring ‘20s again, except now we also have global warming, COVID and student debt, and Joe Rogan to deal with. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that liquor sales have been popping off since March 2020, with no signs of slowing down.

In response to the canned booze and cocktail craze, beverage companies have been scrambling to capitalize off our thirst, which is why so many of them have been coming out with alcoholic versions of their classics. Most recently, Coca-Cola’s Simply Lemonade announced that it was making spiked versions of its regular lemonade, as well as alcoholic alternatives of the strawberry lemonade and blueberry lemonade.

And they’re just the latest to join the “let's-infuse-liquor-into-everything-and-see-what-happens” fad. Earlier this month, Coca-Cola announced that another one of its products, Fresca sodas, was teaming up with Constellation Brands to give them a boozy cousin called Fresca Mixed. Last summer, Pepsi and the Boston Beer Company got together to give birth to Hard Mtn Dew, which has 5% alcohol and is begging all of us to get white girl wasted during our lunch breaks.

Now, I know that for those of us who are trying to drink more intentionally, this is the opposite of what we need. In fact, it’s a fucking landmine. I’m a believer (if not always a practitioner) of moderation and we’re already seeing the detrimental effects that overconsumption of alcohol is having on us. A recent Harvard study found that pandemic-induced excessive drinking will cause an additional 8,000 alcohol-related deaths per year by 2040. Excessive drinking has gotten even worse among young women, who are having 41% more heavy drinking days than they did before the pandemic, per CNN.

At the same time, I think it’s kind of adorable that our childhood drinks are growing up with us. As long as there’s still a pandemic that forces us to stay home, the truth is that many of us are going to continue to keep a drink at arm’s length, for better or worse.

Which got me thinking — for future boozy spin-offs, may I suggest spiked Gatorade? That way I could rehydrate and dehydrate at the same time. Or spiked Oatley, to give my coffee that extra kick it’s always missing. The possibilities are endless.