Thursday, October 13, 2011

From the Beverage Aisle: Ecto Cooler

Ecto Cooler
Company: Hi-C
Years: 1987-2001
 1995 Hi-C Ecto Cooler label
Image by Greg Koenig

When you think Halloween, one thing that often comes to mind is ghosts. And when you think of ghosts, you start to think of that great movie, Ghostbusters. A true classic. Then, after thinking about Ghostbusters (the Movie) for a while, you think of The Real Ghostbusters, the cartoon. Then you stop thinking about it for a while.
Two days later, it pops in your head again for some reason (you see a hearse, maybe?), and you make the jump from thinking about The Real Ghostbusters to that adorable cartoon ghost, Slimer. Man, I miss Slimer. Almost as much as I miss OH MY GOD DO YOU REMEMBER ECTO COOLER!!??!?!?

Ecto Cooler was a drink made by Hi-C in 1987 as a tie in with the Cartoon series "The Real Ghostbusters", and actually outlived the Cartoon series (which ended in 1991). The drink box featured the ghost "Slimer" from the show, and the name "Ecto Cooler" comes from the Ectoplasm which is the slime left behind from a ghost. The drink itself was bright green (like the ectoplasm was in the movie/Cartoon). So basically you were drinking a slime/snot looking beverage. Yummy.

Around 1997, Slimer was removed from the box all together, and it was renamed "Shoutin' Orange Tangerine". Then, in 2006 it was renamed again, this time called "Crazy Citrus Cooler", and it 2007, the recipe was officially discontinued. But it had been so popular in the early 90's that it is fondly remembered today by kids who grew up with it, so much even that some people reverese engineered it and came up with recipes for you to create your own "Ecto Cooler".

But the Ecto Cooler as we know it is officially discontinued, so it's officially going on the shelves here at GBNF Groceries.


  1. Hi-C Ecto Cooler. Widely regarded as The Non-Carbonated Soft Drink Of The Gods.

    An article from 2003:

    So so so. To reiterate. Originally Citrus Cooler. Restyled as Ecto Cooler in 1987. Renamed Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen in 2001. Now here is the sticking point. Circa August 2003, Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen was reformulated as non-staining. The list of ingredients changed dramatically. So sources such as Wikipedia which claim that Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen was renamed Crazy Citrus Cooler in 2006 and discontinued in 2007 are incorrect. It was non-staining Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen that was renamed Crazy Citrus Cooler.

    Meaning that Ecto Cooler was lost forever in 2003.

    Until now.

    After years of exhaustive toil and no doubt countless trips to the bathroom, the nerds at Ghostbusters: Chicago Division have shared their groundbreaking research.

    Ecto Cooler.

    1 packet Kool Aid / Flavor Aid Orange.
    1 packet Kool Aid / Flavor Aid Tangerine.
    ¾. cup Orange Juice (no pulp).
    ¾. cup Tangerine Juice / 1 can mandarin oranges (mashed).
    ⅓ scoop Countrytime Lemonade (regular or pink).
    1½ cups Sugar.
    Green and blue food coloring for color.

    1) In a one gallon pitcher, start by putting in your orange juice and tangerine juice. If you happen to be using the mandarin oranges as a juice source, be sure to strain the pulp out unless you so wish it.

    2) After your juices are in, put in the packets of Kool-Aid / Flavor Aid and the ⅓ scoop of Country Time Lemonade mix and mix up the concentrate. The lemonade is used to make the mixture slightly more bitter to give it the zing the original Ecto-Cooler had. You may have to adjust to get it to your taste.

    3) Add water, put in your sugar and stir until dissolved. Again, if you're using Countrytime Lemonade, sugar is already added to the mixture so you might have to adjust for your personal taste by adding more sugar than the stated 1½ cups.

    4) Add your food coloring. The red in the Flavor Aid is deep enough to skew the color of the green, but with enough drops, you can make it green. It won't be that happy bright green we remember, but at least it'll be green. You also want to add a few drops of the blue in the mix to get it a more even green.

    I like how they wrote the recipe in Nerd. "Green and blue food coloring for color." That's kind of cute in a way.

    NB: Tangerine Kool-Aid is available as Kool-Aid Aquas Frescas Mandarina available at the supermercado. The scoop that is mentioned in the recipe is included in the container of Country Time Lemonade. As for the color, despite using my good food colors from the specialty baking store, I could not achieve the proper bright toxic green. More like sewage green. Rather than trying to find commercially-prepared tangerine juice or using canned mandarin oranges with the heavy syrup, I juiced a couple of tangerines.

    And to the Ghostbusters: Chicago Division, thank you!

    ☮ ♡

  2. I loved ecto cooler, that was always my drink of choice when I was sick. It used to come in the big cans. Too bad they stopped making it.

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