I can't tell you how it began, when it began, or why it began -- but it happened. "Ghoul-Aid," a series of Halloween beverage mixes from the fine folks running Kraft's Kool-Aid factory, sought to capitalize on the season we love so much with spooky flavors and devilish pictures of the Kool-Aid Man in vampire garb. To say this was the defining moment of mankind is a gross understatement; the reality is, every culture and every race in the entire universe can look to the debut of Ghoul-Aid as the benchmark by which all other events must be compared. In fewer words, I really, really like the stuff.
There were several varieties of Ghoul-Aid available, though "Scary Blackberry" seems to have been the only one to receive a wide release in the States. This, by default, makes a handful of other countries much better than ours. World leaders, take note. Wars are a thing of the past. Conflicts can be resolved and victorious nations can be named simply by determining who has the most available varieties of Ghoul-Aid. Bring our boys home; pour them a cup of liquid sugar high. Yeah. Flavor aside, the real coup was all in the packaging -- a Dracula version of the Kool-Aid Man is the kind of thing that shapes the dreams and doodles of any third-grader, or in this case, a really bored guy in his mid 20s. Rumors persist that Ghoul-Aid is a permanent addition -- something that's dusted off year after year during the Halloween season -- but I've had no luck finding it. That might put the cool drawing of the Ghoul-Aid Man on the shelf, but for those wondering what this "Scary Blackberry" crap tasted like, there's still hope.
If you've never seen the Kool-Aid F.A.Q., you don't know what you're missing. The immense document covers everything from how to make "Kool-Aid Toast" to at least 30 different tutorials on how to dye your hair with the shit, and when it comes to lost flavors, the F.A.Q. has you covered. I'm not sure when it was last updated (seems to have been running from at least 1998, if not earlier), but according to some guy named Michael Cooper, "Scary Blackberry" is but a single trip to the local grocer away.
In his words: "Just a note to let you all know I mixed up my own Scary Blackberry tonight, just a little different than the recipe given by Kraft. I actually mixed grape, cherry, and tropical punch and three cups of sugar together in a three quart pitcher and then diluted it accordingly into my storage pitchers. For the record, I can't say it tastes exactly like Scary Blackberry, because I've never had any. I will say that it tastes *exactly* like a mix of those three flavors, with the tropical punch flavor being most dominant. The color, however, is a great Halloween blood reddish-purple."
Well, if it's good enough for this Michael Cooper guy, it's good enough for me...
I had to substitute "Blastin' Berry Cherry" for "Cherry," but I found the right "Grape" and "Tropical Punch" flavors. Had to dig through a huge pile of Kool-Aid's "Mad Scientist" flavors that had magical changing colors and other weird crap, but if that's what I gotta do to get myself some Ghoul-Aid, I can take it. I was probably a little off with the flavor-to-flavor ratio, but after adding enough sugar to lure ants as far away as Guam, the end results seemed on the mark:
Well I'll be! Though technically not "Scary Blackberry," the mixture is indeed an intensely deep red and tastes pretty much exactly how a blackberry-flavored Kool-Aid should. Incredible stuff, actually. I'm not a big Kool-Aid aficionado, but I still drank six or seven cups in succession before finally succumbing to the sugar rush by running around the ceiling singing that song Frasier belts out in his ending credits. This was gooood drinkin'. Who knew the key to harmony lied in a glass of Scary Blackberry Ghoul-Aid? I mean, besides Michael Cooper?
Finally, a reason to obey your thirst. Fuck Sprite.
I'm not sure if they were available here, but at least in Canada, other varieties of Ghoul-Aid popped up. "Scary Black Cherry" and "Eerie Orange" can't match the charm of the original, but it's nice to have options if you wanted to drink Halloween Kool-Aid but had a peculiar distaste for anything blackberry-flavored. Unfortunately, instead of wearing the vampire suit, these follow-ups pictured the Kool-Aid Man with nothing more than a cheesy black wrap-around bandana -- a costume that would've seemed way more pitiful if the guy wasn't already a living pitcher full of fruit punch.
Anyway, I guess that's all. For those interested, I wasn't kidding about that makeshift mixture. It's really tasty. As for the "real" varieties of Ghoul-Aid, who knows? Maybe Kraft'll surprise us. Maybe they won't. Maybe they won't. Maybe they will. Maybe maybe they they won't will will won't. God, I drank too much Kool-Aid.