The Good, Green Stuff: Hi – C!

By Lori Ferraro

In the summertime in the 80s there was one drink of choice that my brother and I drank by the giant tin can-full.

With flavors like Cherry, Fruit Punch and my all-time favorite Ecto Cooler, we would come running in from a long day of bike riding with our friends to get a big glass of the good stuff.

All hail Hi-C!

We drank Hi-C morning, noon, and night . . . Orange in the morning with breakfast . . .

Hi-C Orange Drink

Sometimes delicious, refreshing Peach with lunch . . .

Hi-C Peach

And while some kids had to have milk with dinner, I always remember a big glass of the green stuff alongside Mom’s meatloaf or casseroles.

Hi-C Ecto Cooler

Hi-C came in a giant tin can. You would use an old school can opener to make two triangle shaped holes in the top, “One to pour and one to vent,” Mom explained to me.

Hi-C can opener

Hi-C originated way back in 1946, by the Minute Maid division of Coca-Cola – the sole, original flavor was Orange.

Ecto-Cooler was of course a reference to the Ghostbusters cartoon, which came out after the film. The lemon-lime sugary drink featured its star, Slimer, on the packaging and in the TV commercials.

Hi-C was so sugary sweet your teeth would buzz and tingle after drinking it; I’m quite sure dentists did not approve of this beverage choice. But hey, at least there was 10% juice in there, better than nothing!

By the mid-80s, Hi-C ditched the giant tin can and got on board with the juice box craze.

Hi-C juice boxes

And where oh where is my sweet Hi-C now? Like most delicious things I loved, Ecto Cooler is now a thing of the past – although there are many recipes online that try to replicate it (photo and recipe credit to:

Homemade Ecto Cooler

  • 3/4 cup orange juice (no pulp)
  • 3/4 cup tangerine juice
  • 1 packet orange Flavor-Aid
  • 1 packet tangerine Flavor-Aid
  • 1 spoonful Country Time powdered lemonade mix
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • Blue and green food coloring

Sounds good to me. It’s time to bust out the Country Time Lemonade and food coloring and get to work. And, it is totally worth it to taste 1984 again.

Author: Lori Ferraro

Lori is a writer and actor living in Portland, OR. Her website, Drawn to the 80s, is where her 5 year old draws the greatest music hits of the 1980s. She is a blogger for The Huffington Post and her own blog, Once Upon a Product, is where she writes about important things like beauty products, music, her obsession with Mick Jagger and of course...the 80s.

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1 Comment

  1. I think Surge tastes like Ecto cooler, but carbonated.

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