I cannot remember the last time a new product came into my life that has caused the level of joy and newfound obsession that Cheerwine has. So let’s dispense with the pleasantries and my usual pop culture tomfoolery and get right into this. Back to the Future. Cherie getting trapped in a refrigerator. Bull from Night Court. That should satisfy the quota and buy us a little time.
On Saturday I crossed the Bay of Tampa to patron a hipster deli/restaurant/market place that is all the rage here locally. I go there when I need to be inspired by a product. I bought my first Hotlips soda there as well as my first Vosges bar. Sadly their current selection left a lot to be deired. No Hotlips, no Vosges. Generally very little in the way of interesting foodstuffs. However, I did come across a few bottles of Cheerwine, which henceforth shall be referred to as My New Favorite Thing.
I had heard of My New Favorite Thing before. As the 23rd to 27th most important junk food blogger on the internet, I hear things. All I really knew about it was that it was cherry in flavor, was old timey, and involved some kind of regionalism. The webnet has indeed confirmed that it is cherry, was produced in 1917, and is centered in North Carolina albeit with reasonable distribution in the south. You can find it places but usually cool or foodcentric people have to be involved, hence the hipster deli. Red Fraggle.
First of all, I love things cherry. Though upon reflection, my actual consumption of non-sundae cherries is fairly close to zero. Cherry Coke is my beverage of choice. I love the stuff, especially out of a fountain, and especially with a bin of movie popcorn. Cherry Icees, cherry candy, yes please.
Second of all, drinking soda out of a glass bottle is one of the best things you can do as a person. It’s just great.
Get a load of the color of that soda. It’s just gorgeous. The cherry flavor of the soda is delightful. It’s not too strong and it doesn’t taste too artificial. It’s right in that perfect zone of fruity goodness. And even though it contains a lot of sugar, it is not as sweet as I was expecting. I dare say it’s very light. I don’t usually find many sodas to be refreshing, but My New Favorite Thing definitely is. Herman’s Head.
And the bubbles! Those crazy big fat bubbles. They’re huge. Truly sublime effervescence. At times I felt as if I was drinking some kind of turn of the century tonic that was going to cure my baldness and nervous prostration.
Cheerwine. Is. Awesome.
Tragically, I only bought two bottles. I drank one on the drive home, and savored the other one like the sweet ambrosia that it is. I can’t stop thinking about this stuff. Luckily, one of my cooler students clued me into the fact that Cracker Barrel carries Cheerwine. I have been planning an after school mid-week run to pick some up. That’s a huge deal in itself.
If you haven’t tried Cheerwine, I implore you to do so. It has brought a thin beam of burgundy sunshine into my life. And if I don’t get some more soon, one of those bottles might be turned into a jagged stabby charmingly old-fashioned weapon.