Serious Eats: Drinks
Confession: I'm A Crystal Light Fan
As your resident soda columnist, I'll routinely admit to my less refined pleasures—unlimited free diet Coke refills, Mountain Dew Dark Berry, tea-flavored energy drink Enviga. But even so, I'm a bit embarrassed to confess my passion for Crystal Light. It just seems a little too lowbrow to embrace.
Why the love? Part of it's a childhood thing. In the summer when I was growing up, my mom would make fresh-squeezed lemonade quite a bit—but if we needed a pitcher of something fast, to pack with a beach picnic or to feed a half-dozen kids running into the kitchen, it'd be Crystal Light. It's so wrapped up in memory that it doesn't taste like fake sugar to me. It tastes like a big cold "lemonade" in a red cup that I stick in the sand.
And these days, part of it's a convenience thing. I have a pack of little Crystal Light packets on my desk, a peach iced tea flavor, that shakes up in about ten seconds to a slightly caffeinated and perfectly refreshing drink, for about a dime. Nothing remarkably tasty, but when I'm too cheap or lazy to find myself a Coke Zero? It fits the bill. And lately, I've become fond of the Mojito flavor, which may very little resemble a mojito, but has a pleasant limey-minty thing going I'm all about.
I used to hide my Crystal Light from the rest of the office, but once I saw Kenji surreptitiously dumping a packet into a water bottle, I've started to open up about my shameful habit. Any other Crystal Light fans out there?