Do you remember Zima? If you were of legal drinking age in the 1990s, you most certainly do. The clear, sweet malt beverage defied categorization. Not quite a “wine cooler,” Zima was marketed as an alternative to beer, and along with “Melrose Place,” Beanie Babies and Doc Martens, it was all the rage in the ’90s.
Zima officially ceased production in the U.S. back in 2008. But now its manufacturer, MillerCoors, says it’s about to make a comeback.
You may remember Zima as light on the alcohol, but it turns out that’s not the case. It clocked in at 4.7%-5.4% alcohol by volume, about the same as your average beer. Back then, the lightly-carbonated beverage was advertised with the slogan, “Try zomething different.”
These days, Zima has some competition. MillerCoors was inspired to bring back Zima by the ongoing success of its product Henry’s Hard Soda, a malt beverage made with soda, alcohol and cane sugar that comes in four flavors. Other competitors that have since joined the market include Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Bud Light Lime-a-Rita and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
Looking for a new twist on your old favorite once it returns to stores? Why not try a Zima cocktail? Mix up a Jolly Zima (a blend of Zima and Jolly Rancher candies—another blast from the past!), a Red Zima (Zima and grenadine—in case it’s not sweet enough for you on its own) or an Autumn in New York (Zima and cognac), and you’ll feel like you stepped into a time machine.
Zima should officially hit shelves again sometime this year, but a firm date has not yet been set. A MillerCoors spokesperson told Beer Business Daily that “more news [is] coming soon” and “if you’re one of the zillion fans who have missed Zima, the answer should be clear.”
We’ll drink to that!