The Drink Machine Draft

After work last Friday I wasn’t interested in a cold one, but if I was, it wouldn’t have been in the traditional sense. When the work week concluded, Sidney and I made a trip to Walmart to pick up a present for a birthday party that Sloan was attending. As we exited, we picked up a DVD at the Redbox. As we were making our selection, I noticed the drink machine right next to it.

I studied this drink machine after we selected our Redbox DVD.

The best way I could describe the variety of this drink vending machine was beach-inspired. Absent of any colas or other dark sodas, the mix was truly a summer oasis of fruity and tropical concoctions.

More than two years ago, I wrote a unique blog post that took the form of a draft. Using a random vending machine in the humanities building at Coastal Carolina, I ranked the 51 items behind the glass. Because of the fun contents of the Walmart drink machine, I felt like I would do the same thing tonight (fortunately, I only have nine items to rank this time).

An up close look at the drink lineup.

1. Hawaiian Punch – It is the first selection on the actual drink machine lineup for a reason. Folks, Hawaiian Punch is good––but it is even better in a can. You won’t find Hawaiian Punch everywhere, it simply isn’t that mainstream, so when you do it is imperative to take advantage of it.

2. Grape Crush – I have a memory of getting into a burning hot car on a sizzling summer day only to open a can of grape soda for some refreshing relief. Call me a kid, but I still love grape soda to this day.

3. Orange Crush – Although I would grab a Crush of the grape variety first, an orange flavored one isn’t far behind. Like grape, orange soda takes me back to my childhood and I like that.

4. Sun Drop – Dr. Pepper’s answer to Mt. Dew, Sun Drop is a novelty in the same way as Hawaiian Punch––you just don’t see it that much. But when I do, I like to take a chance on it.

5. Cheerwine – I enjoyed Cheerwine the moment I tried it for the first time five years ago. Although I don’t have the history with it like I do the other products on this list, I would still choose this drink before half of the others in the machine.

6. 7UP – In a Sprite dominated world, we sometimes forget about its main lemon lime soda competitor. Not I! The crisp, clean taste of 7UP wins me over from time to time.

7. Schweppes Ginger Ale – If you can believe it, I never tried Ginger Ale until my wife had me sample it in 2016. Because Sidney is drinking the stuff like crazy during her pregnancy, I would take a couple sips myself and then give her the rest.

8. Blue Mist Bottled Water – I think it is kind of boring to select bottled water in any spot other than last in a drink machine draft. However, when your bottled water is named “Blue Mist” it does capture my curiosity enough to promote it one spot above the lemonade.

9. Country Time Lemonade – Sugary and sour is how I remember Country Time Lemonade when it was offered in the drink machine at my middle school. I doubt it has changed over the course of 20 years.

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Did I nail it with this draft? Do you need to make a stop at the Walmart on Myrtle Ridge Drive? At the very least, are you thirsty? Okay, good. Don’t Blink.