As someone with a lifelong passion for cheap, horrible beer, I couldn't have been more excited when I walked into a bodega the other day–the same bodega I go to every day to buy a bigass bottle of Coke Zero and a Jack Link's beef stick–and saw a stack of 12-packs of Bud Light Lime STRAW-ber-RITA right in the middle of the store.
When you find out that a thing like the Bud Light Lime STRAW-ber-RITA exists, you must ask yourself a series of profound questions. Bud Light Lime STRAW-ber-RITA? Seriously? People buy this shit? Why is there a dash after the STRAW and the ber? Why is the "ber" part in a small font and the other parts big? Is that legally required because this concoction contains no actual strawberries? Is this even beer? BRO AM I A GAY IF I DRINK THIS?
Well, fear not. I purchased a 12-pack of this abhorrent shit on the spot and brought it home to sample. I did this JUST FOR YOU. I am your lab rat. I am here to subject myself to the vagaries and the horros of Bud Light Lime STRAW-ber-RITA so that you don't have to. I am here to pretend to be brave about drinking this when I really wanted to try it all along anyway, because it looked DELICIOUS. Here now are my findings.
First of all, this shit is expensive. I threw down $15 for a 12-pack. That's likely due to price inflation here on the mean streets of suburban Maryland–a vast stretch of land where everything is priced as if you live inside a giant Whole Foods–but still. Fifteen bucks is horseshit. You don't even get real cans. Look at this:
There are eight measly ounces in that can. I didn't even realize they were Air France-sized cans until I got the case home because I'm a moron. Hard to get excited about the Strawbs (I feel like that's what Dadboner would nickname it) when it comes in a vessel the size of a suppository. But don't worry, frat bros. You don't have to drink it straight from the can and worry about your boys calling you a pansy (small cans are for the gays!). The packaging encourages you to TRY IT OVER ICE! They even have a convenient graphic of the shit being poured over ice into a margarita glass, just as they've been making margaritas in native Oaxaca for centuries now. I'm not one to resist stern demands from InBev labels, so I grabbed a glass and poured it over ice, like a fine scotch. And then I tasted it for the first time.
So... it's not beer. It's defintely not beer. I know Bud Light itself is barely beer, but this is really, truly not beer. The brand name itself lets you know that this drink is a spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff. That's why it has a name longer than the average Hobbit movie installment. I have no fucking idea why they went the extra mile and called it STRAW-ber-RITA. The middle part, I suppose, is meant to let you know that this is one "E" removed from actual beer. There is probably legal reasoning behind that spelling. But this shit is just strawberry Mike's in a can: carbonated Kool Aid designed specifically for teenagers who can't yet tolerate the taste of alcohol. I was kinda disappointed to realize this, given that I used a whole ice cube to make this margarita happen. So I went one step further. I grabbed a blender, some vodka, and more ice, and I blended that shit together. This is the result:
I was hoping that the blender would turn my STRAW-ber-RITA into a perfect, slushy, fruity beach drink. I was wrong. Now I had spiked Strawberry malt liquor with little ice chips floating around in it. The drink fizzed and hissed after I shut the blender off, like it was angry with me. It looked like carbonated Pepto. I drank it. No improvement.
I gave a cold can to my wife to try.
WIFE: Do I have to?
She took a sip and then made a face.
WIFE: I wanted to like it.
ME: No, you didn't. You wanted to hate it.
WIFE: It just... It shouldn't be carbonated. It's weird.
Then my seven-year-old walked by and I got her to try some too. Don't judge me. I'd much rather have her downing STRAW-ber-RITAs responsibly at the house than experimenting with her friends. THAT'S PARENTING 101, PEOPLE.
She took a sip, then stuck out her thumb and pointed it sideways. She rates food Ebert-style.
ME: So... you like it?
KID: I'm in the middle!
ME: So you kinda like it, but you kinda hate it?
KID: Uh huh!
My kid usually makes EWWWW faces anytime she comes across a glass of beer or wine, so this was a decided improvement. Must be the strawberry flavor. Clearly, given its 8 percent ABV, this is the exact beverage that pederasts would probably use to lure in their prey. The perfect Jesus Juice, if you will.
I had two more cans of BLLSBR before switching to bourbon and downing half a bottle of Advil to prevent bed spins. I avoided having the full BLLSBR hangover experience, but I have a pretty good idea of what it would be like. Vomiting pink slush into trash cans. Crippling abdominal pain. Nausea at the mere thought of solid food. Shit like that. As fruity malt beverages go, this is all to be expected. It tastes fine, for what it is. But if you're buying this thinking you're about to spend an evening in Kokomo with a legit margarita, you would be horribly mistaken. The only place this drink transports you to is the bottom of a ditch. I've still got nine cans left. I plan on using them to pay the babysitter.
Top image by Devin Rochford.