Tuesday, September 3, 2013

From the Beverage Aisle: Zima

Product: Zima
Company: Coors
Years: 1993-early 2000s

Could I see your Driver's license please?

"Zomething Different"

Ah..... Zima. What can I really say that hasn't been said before. You were the drink of choice when making fun of my friends in College ("Hey Keith, you want a Zima or something???? *HighFivesFriends*) and to this day you are still the punchline to many jokes told when were out on the town. How did you become such a punching bag in the first place? I mean, really, Zima, it wasn't your fault. You just came around 10 years too early. Today you'd be the star of any party, but sadly, we will never know.

Zima (the Eastern European word for "Winter") was produced by the Miller Coors company back in the early 90's during what us food historians call the "Clear Beverage Craze". What had started in Soda (Clear Tab, Crystal Pepsi) had moved on to clear adult beverages, and while Gin and Vodka had been around for ages, clear beverages aimed at a younger demographic was the new thing. Zima was the grandfather, with other companies stepping up to compete for a share of the market. Miller came out with their own version, called Miller Qube, and Stroh's came out with a variation called "Clash". Zima, by far, had the most success of any of these drinks.

The idea behind Zima was to offer an alternative to wine coolers, and the Lemon Lime drink quickly became a favorite drink of women. Coors marketed the hell out of Zima, and at one point it was estimated that half of the drinking age population had tried it (and who knows how much of the non-drinking age population.....Come on.....in Highschool you'd drink ANYTHING, and you know it).

In 1995, Coors realized it had a gender problem on it's hands, in that it was extremely uncool for men to drink Zima. So it marketed a new drink, Zima Gold, which was an amber colored drink with a bourbon taste to it, hoping men would drink it up. But we didn't, because the only think worse then passing up alcohol is being made fun of by our friends for drinking something uncool. It was quickly discontinued and became the Death Knell for the brand. They tried a few more things to save the brand, changing packaging and bottle shape, adding new citrus flavors, but to no avail. Zima was soon after pronounced dead. I've heard you can still get Zima in some places in Japan, to which I have to ask the important question, "Why?".

So lets here your best stories of drinking Zima in the 90's! You can leave out the embarrassing stuff, even though, you will have admitted to drinking Zima already, which in and of itself, is pretty embarrassing.


  1. Really Zima, was the start of the wine cooler craze. As nasty as it was, I never could understand why people would drink such nasty stuff. It was a womens drink.

  2. Perhaps you are right, a woman's drink. I would get a Zima, take a couple drinks and have the bartender put a shot of Chambord in it....it was great.

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