Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cool Tommy's Ginger Ale

The arrow to nowhere.

Knowing it's gonna suck makes it easier.

Cool Tommy's makes a fizzy attempt to escape out my nose.

Cool Tommy's Ginger Ale
Light Rock Beverages, Danbury, CT

Cool Tommy's is mostly carbonation with a touch of flavor and a whole lot of numb. Yes, numb. My first big swig and I could hardly feel my mouth. As I was writing this I emitted a low garbled noise, just to make sure I still could make sound.

Think about eating Pixie Sticks or whatever other granulated sugar you ate as a kid, then taking a drink of soda immediately afterwards. You had that expanding gas thing go off in your mouth as the carbonation met with the granular crap and had a foam party. That's what every drink of Cool Tommy's Ginger Ale tastes like, a foamy party in your mouth. But a sort of boring party where you walk in and no one is particularly friendly, and the people you came to see aren't there.

Fuck that, you say, I think I'll leave. But you can't, as you still have a 20 oz of the "Big 24 oz" to finish. Blech. "24 ox of Thirst Quenching Coolness!!" is the second most important thing on the bottle label, right after the "Cool Tommy's" text with the funny bendy Adobe Illustrator arrow behind it. An double-sided arrow which points at nothing on one end and maybe the bar code with the other.

The bar code is probably the highlight of this design package, I think.

As with all cool things marketed at children, "Cool Tommy's Ginger Ale" appears to come in a regular version and a "battle damage" version. If a Tie Fighter is extra cool bearing the scars of conflict, that clearly applies to beverages as well. A handful of white rub marks travel vertically through the label, the edges of which are peeling and torn. A few random sticky spots testify to friends that didn't make it, exploded en route to the store.

I pour some out in memory of all the "homies" that didn't make it. There, now I'm down to 16 oz of Refreshing Coolness.

Easily the best thing about Cool Tommy's is the price. Fifty cents. Yep, that's right. I didn't think anything in NYC cost fifty cents except air for my bike tires. Fifty cents, that's incredible. How can a deli afford to keep something so cheap on the shelves? One would think that the shelf space itself costs more than fifty cents. When the guy told me the two Cool Tommy bottles I bought were a dollar, I thought I misheard him. It would have been an easy mistake, as a crazy guy in a leg cast was sitting inside the door yelling at everyone, it was hard to focus. Anyway, fifty cents. I didn't even get taxed, which means it was actually something like .465 dollars.

Now with that in mind, that this stuff cost half a dollar, I'm going to say that it isn't that bad. It's probably on par with Schweppes ginger ale, the most common stuff out there. It's a hell of a lot of better than some of the fancy schmancy wannabees I've tried. Especially by the smell, it smells great, much better than it tastes.

It also gets points for making me burp up my White Castles from earlier. Good job, Cool Tommy, good job, but points off for that cheap ginger ale heart burn.

1 comment :

  1. I thought I was the only person in the world who had ever had Cool Tommy's... Good to know it's still around. Or at least the bottles that were shelved in the 90's are still on the shelves.