Ghost of a Chance

Ecto Cooler is Back!

With the return of a childhood favorite, it's 1987 all over again, but have we outgrown it?

By Alice Levitt July 29, 2016

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Clearly, he's been drinking too many Ecto Coolers.

Image: Shutterstock

Slimer and I have always had a complicated relationship. Like any weird elementary schooler, my favorite character in Ghostbusters II was the evil living portrait, Vigo the Carpathian of Moldovia. When it came to The Real Ghostbusters Cartoon, my first (not so real) crush was on the oddly dandyish animated Egon Spengler. But Slimer, with his ebullient personality and insatiable hunger, always served as a kind of spirit...spirit. I understood and identified with him, but he was just never my favorite.

His drink? Kind of the same deal. I wanted to love Ecto Cooler almost despite myself. I was a confirmed Juicy Juice kid, with no real interest in the sugar water developed in Hi-C's lab. But just as I force-fed myself Hostess pudding pies filled with ecto-green custard to somehow connect with Slimer's outsized energy, I would beg my mom for the "citrus drink." My childhood memories, therefore are filled with cameos by boxes of the orange-ish liquid—the fact that I didn't actually like how it tasted was beside the point. I had long forgotten about it by the time it was discontinued in 1997.

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A 12-pack is a lot of yellow #5 and blue #1.

Image: Alice Levitt

Others clearly had it on their minds all along, and as I got older and more nostalgic, so did I. A Resurrect Ecto Cooler Facebook page started in 2008 has 13,790 likes. With the release of the new, lady-led Ghostbusters movie, Coca-Cola finally assented and re-released the drink on May 30. But stores proved rather less excited about the vintage revival than Slimer fans may have hoped. According to a post on the Facebook page, "Coke says they've got loads in the warehouse, waiting to be ordered, but individual stores aren't placing those orders."

I was unable to find any cans locally, so I took matters into my own hands and ordered a case from H-E-B. Believe me, it would have been less had there been the option, especially when I realized that the $8.52 shipping price nearly matched the $8.99 fee for a 12-pack. But had I been truly desperate, this would have been well worth it—my Ecto Cooler arrived overnight.

My review? No Christmas was ever as exciting as unpacking the drink from layers of bubble wrap and a box labeled "Cool the can. See the Slime." First sip? An equivalent letdown. One of the grand disappointments of my early childhood came rushing back like a broken madeleine. Yes, the can claims orange and tangerine juices from concentrate are included in the mix, but they account for only 10% of the can's contents. I couldn't taste them beneath the astringent fake lime. I nursed a can all yesterday afternoon and picking it up now, it still feels full. Slimer, I'm sorry. You were never my favorite, and as much as I want to love your drink, I'll be saving it for the true obsessives. But rock on with your dead self.

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