AU's Top 10 Drinks: Another Definitive List
You’re never going to believe what’s on this list.
Andrew Unterberger is a famous writer who invented the nickname 'Sauce Castillo' and is now writing for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez, as part of the 'If Not, Pick Will Convey As Two Second-Rounders' section of the site. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AUGetoffmygold and can also read him at Billboard.
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SO, I enjoyed reading Abbie's top 20 foods list. Roasted cauliflower would not be in my top 20,000, nor would "roasted" anything, nor would anything "cauliflower," but the reasoning was sound (in that it did not even attempt any conventional sort of reasoning at all), the pictures were lovely, and the love was real. Stir fry, french fries and grilled cheese are of course dope. Soft pretzels are indeed the Britney Spears of snack foods. White rice... I mean, do what you gotta do, right?
But I did have one major issue with Abbie's list: Root Beer Floats at No. 4. They're great! I have them basically never at this point in my life because when do people actually have root beer floats? But no objections in concept to the combination of Root Beer (delicious) and Floating (fun!) HOWEVER: they are drink, not food -- which, as we would say on this basketball-themed website, is an entirely different sport. Reading it, I instantly knew I would have no choice but to respond with my own definitive, unquestionable, don't-@-me-bro list of the 10 greatest drinks of all-time.
Nahhhhhhh just kidding. Not about the list, I mean -- that's coming, and it's pretty accurate -- but about it actually have anything to do with Abbie's food list or Root Beer Floats or anything but me being truly desperate to not have to write about the Sixers and this basketball season that may or may not actually be coming and is almost probably definitely a bad idea anyway for any number of extremely legitimate reasons. (Though not because of the asterisk title -- we stan an asterisk title, always.) So until such time as the season becomes truly inevitable, Spike is gonna have to deal with a lot of me texting him on Wednesdays being like "uhhhh how about I write about the best '90s soundtracks and beef with SixersAdam over him never having seen The Crow?" (Hey, I was still covering this Sixers season back when everyone and their Athletic-subscribing uncle was writing about The 37 Greatest Slam Dunk "What If?"s in Flight Squad History, now it's my turn to stall for motherfucking time.)
ANYWAY, drinks. I love drinks! On average, they're probably not quite as essential as food -- hence a top 10, not a top 20 -- but a good drink still makes my heart sing on a regular basis. (Spike wanted to make sure that I was passionate about drinks before OK'ing this list; I am indeed quite passionate about drinks, though admittedly not as passionate as I am about not writing about the Sixers this week.)
In fact, while I tried to narrow this down to 10 to only cover the truly elite beverages, I did still feel it necessary to list out a number of honorable mentions as well. And I'm not going to torture myself by trying to make my drinks fit into SixersAdam qualifications this time -- though if SA wants to recognize the existence of more drinks than Poland Spring water, Yoo-hoo and I dunno maybe some kind of Mountain Dew alternative that was available for two weeks in 2013, he's of course welcome to a response list anytime.
Limeade. About 100x better than lemonade. Had a crippling dependency in high school, would be lying if I said I'd had it much since.
Whiskey and water on the rocks. Not gonna pretend hard liquor is really anything but utilitarian for me; when necessary this drink gets the job done better than any other, and I could occasionally refer to it as "refreshing" with a straight face.
Bloody Mary. Great but too filling, more food than drink really.
Seltzer. Has its place, but when did this become, like, a connoisseur thing? In the grand scheme of Killakow passions, I understand having strong opinions about Lou Bega's best Mambos much better than I get about really caring between seltzer types. Maybe once I get I Think You Should Leave seltzer will also click for me.
Red wine. I only get this a little more than I get seltzer, tbh. Every glass of wine I've ever had is somewhere between like a 6 and an 8. (White wine, ~5-7.) Caring more than a little about wine seems like a needlessly expensive investment.
Apple juice. Unquestionably delicious, but hard not to feel ridiculous once you're more than two sips in.
Metaxa. Delicious Greek after-dinner spirit invented by a silk merchant (sure!) Gonna join my girlfriend for a birthday Metaxa when I'm done writing this thing. Happy birthday Lisa!
Bryan Colangelo couldn't get anyone to hire him so he bought part of a team in Australia... we won't be letting this one go. Josh Harris bought part of the Steelers, Joel Embiid got a driver's license, so we try to figure out how it happened and remember our driving tests.
Now, onto the proper list:
10. Skim milk. This will be outrageous to some, and fair enough -- like shitty cartoons, milk preferences are extremely biased by one's own personal experience growing up. I grew up on skim milk, and therefore drinking a glass of full-fat milk will always taste like drinking a melted stick of butter. I can deal with it in cereal, but if I'm pouring myself a glass of milk to actually drink, especially to go with a delicious dessert, it better be skim. (Or non-fat, I guess. Or 1%, whatever that actually means.) Otherwise, it's just double-dessert, which is too much.
9. Mimosa. One white people cliché I will not apologize for subscribing to wholeheartedly: Brunch is wonderful, as is any meal that allows you two unlimited hours' worth of gorgeously acidic champagne-OJ combos. Everything about a mimosa is pleasantly decadent; they seem like they should add up to trouble in mass quantities, but I can't remember a single time in my life when I actually thought to myself ugh, I shouldn't have had that last mimosa. Of course, brunch as a concept is currently canceled until future notice -- maybe forever -- but mimosas are still tight. Bellinis too. Kir royales, ever had one of those? Quality stuff.
8. Vanilla bullshit coffee. Speaking of white people clichés: Hate to resort to the Larry David here, but this is still very much me 20-plus years into my coffee-ordering career. Coffee is solid, but coffee-ish dessert drinks are truly delightful -- except that ordering them is such a thoroughly joyless experience it almost has to be on purpose to prevent you from buying three a day, which, fair. When I go to Starbucks, I tend to just kinda point at the drink that seems the most explicitly teeth-rotting and hope the barista will take pity on me by not making me vocalize too many of the specifics. But yeah, various syrups, whipped cream, cookies, some salted nonsense, give me all of that. Fucking shower in that shit.
7. Root beer. Still in the midst of a major root beer kick the last couple years of my life. Root beer branding is great: I probably couldn't actually tell you the difference in taste between a Barq's and an A&W, but I still find the drinking of the two of them to be entirely separate (but equally wonderful) sensations. As for floats -- sure, if you also have the ice cream and the patience, though pretty rare that I personally have all three. May have to find the time to actually make one this summer.
6. Chocolate milkshake. Few things in life make me happier than a good chocolate milkshake -- even those automatic Wawa ones that may or may not still carry are basically 12 oz of ecstasy. Thickness is important, of course; I don't really fuck with Frostys or other fast-food milkshakes that are so thick they're basically just soft-ish ice cream, but milkshakes that are too thin you can't help but finish in 20 seconds. A medium-thick milkshake that thins out over the course of drinking is probably your best bet.
5. Orangina. Spent basically my entire freshman year of college drinking Orangina, I think I even collected the bottles for reasons that currently escape me. (Laziness? Probably laziness.) To be fair, the bottles are great, and sorta half the fun: I especially like the small ones that are plump at the bottom, making you feel like you're drinking some kind of magical elixir (which of course, you are). If every sip of Orangina was as satisfying as the first one out of the bottle, this'd probably be top three, but by the end the juice is usually starting to separate and the whole thing just isn't as exciting as it once was.
4. Egg cream. Goddamn, I miss diners. Not like I order an egg cream every time I go to a diner, but I love egg creams, I love diners, and I only ever have egg creams in diners. The remarkable thing about egg creams isn't just that they contain neither egg nor cream, it's that they're still just as delicious as an "egg cream" sounds like it should be anyway. I'd get the seltzer thing a lot better if folks were just using it to make themselves egg creams all the time.
3. Yuengling. Beer snobbiness is arguably preferable to wine snobbiness just because it's cheaper on the whole, but still, there's only one beer that I actually care about. Yes, it's watery compared to most beer, but considering what Real Beer actually tastes like I'm not sure why that's considered a bad thing. I hit my limit with most beers fairly quickly, but give me a case of Yuengling and crank up the WMGK and the boys will be back in town all afternoon. Understandable if you want to write this off as Philly pandering, but in truth I didn't even really start drinking it until I left for college; I'd wager that less than 5% of the Yuengling I've drank in my life actually took place in the state of Pennsylvania. Still, I can't deny that drinking it does feel like home to me, for whatever reason. (And yes, I know about the Trump stuff, I've already emotionally bargained with myself that if he wins re-election, I'll have to boycott for at least the next four years.)
2. Ice Water. I won't bother wasting your time explaining why water is great -- it's water, that shit is everything -- but I will take a minute to complain about all my idiot friends who insist that room temperature water is preferable to ice water because you can drink it faster. Huh? That's like saying that The King of Queens is better than Seinfeld because you can watch five episodes of the former in a row before you even realize that the TV is turned on. Drink some ice water, cowards: Let me guzzle it until my eyes fill with water and I'm gasping for air. Let me remember what it's really all about.
1. Dr. Pepper. The true No. 23-wearing GOAT, and probably in the top 10 of things I truly could not exist as myself without. When I was a kid, I figured I would only ever have to make enough money as an adult to afford to drink one Dr. Pepper an hour. As an adult, it's the one beverage I refuse to mix with alcohol. I've heard some people complain that it has a sort of medicinal taste, and I agree -- it does taste like it could cure literally any physical ailment my body could be experiencing. Dr. Pepper. The Pep. It's my wife, and it's my life. Can't wait to have one tomorrow and not think about writing about the Sixers.