I didn’t know it at the time, but October 10 was a sad day. Apparently, though I’m just learning of it today, Coors stopped producing Zima two months ago.

Some of you may be alarmed or disappointed to realize that even though Jesus turned water into wine, I prefer an occasional malt beverage over the grape drink. Well, actually, a grape-flavored malt beverage would be okay.

Regardless of the fruity flavor of the drink, I do appreciate Zima and its kind for two reasons. First, it doesn’t taste a bit like alcohol. Second, it comes in a bottle that looks a little bit like it might contain beer.

It’s not beer, though, and that was likely part of its problem. Though the drink was reformulated in 2004 to contain even more alcohol content than most beers, it has been seen since its birth in 1994 as a “girl drink.” As a girl myself, I don’t mind that. But as a company whose customers are largely male, well, that’s a problem. As Slate put it, “To Coors’ horror, Zima proved most popular among young women—a demographic that, while generally fond of getting tanked, just doesn’t have the same thirst for hooch as its male counterpart.”

It’s true. A couple of those babies, and I’m done. Not “tanked” done, but finished with the fruity drinks. I like my sweet, but even I can’t handle more than that. Kind of makes my stomach hurt.

Now, I’ve never been picky. I have drunk more Smirnoff than Zima, but mainly because it’s more readily available. And probably cheaper. I really don’t like paying for drinks. But when Mark, Smitty and I visited the Coors brewery a few years ago, I highly enjoyed my sample that tasted strangely of orange soda. And a couple summers ago, when the three of us went to a concert with my brother and his now-wife, Zima was also my drink of choice.

So, in honor of the drink that was mentioned on shows ranging from Buffy to Friends to Gilmore Girls to The Simpsons, but has only managed to get 406 names on its petition, here is an ode.

Oh, Zima, the world’s first malternative
You were fruity and sweet and divine
Tasting of orange pop or Kool-Aid with fizz
With more alcohol content than Bud Light
You got a bad rap as girls’ drink, so light
Not beer, not a wine cooler, what are you
Smirnoff Ice is just an imitation
Bottling alcopop tasting of Sprite
It’s too bad they sold more bottles than you
Your absence will be felt ‘cross the nation.

[Disclaimer: I am not a poet. And I know it. However, you should know that just for you, my faithful readers and friends, I researched the ode. Turns out, most odes are quite long. Mine’s not. But it does attempt iambic pentameter and follows the ababcdecde pattern as suggested. So, there’s that.]

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