I’ve got Ghoul-Aid—a thing I haven’t been able to say since at least 1992. Scary Blackberry is once again back in 2011. Ghoul-Aid is the classic seasonal Kool-Aid of our childhoods, the seminal product of Halloween tie-ins. Everything about it is perfection—the font, the colors, the Kool-Aid Man, beloved anthropomorphic frosty pitcher dressed as a vampire. And I’m telling you, this is a pitcher who comes prepared—not only a pitcher himself sloshing with Kool-Aid, but he also has a glass full of it in his hand.
To say this packet contains the Halloween spirit itself would not be over-exaggerating. Back then, we waited for the leaves to change, for the candy displays, for the carved pumpkins, but most of all we waited for Ghoul-Aid and the once-a-year blackberry flavor. And we have waited a long time.
My world hasn’t been this rocked since they introduced the blue flavor in the 1980s. I’m sure it had a fancy name like the “Great Blue-dini,” but to me, it will always be simply, lovingly blue. I love drinking blue.
When I heard Ghoul-Aid has re-emerged in the grocery aisles, I went on a mission. It was actually somewhat difficult to find, but I was able to turn up a few packets after a few grocery store stops. My advice is to check the Halloween sections, too.
Alright, let’s do it. Let’s make Ghoul-Aid.
Except I’m forced to DO IT ALL WRONG by not making it in a pitcher. We married last month and received approximately 359592348 gifts, half of which are kitchen things. So I’m little flabbergasted that we own things like miniature knives for only cheese and multitudes of plates for different meals, seasons, and warp zones, BUT NOT A SINGLE FREAKING PITCHER.
Actually, we did get a pitcher. But it’s made from fine Romanian hand-blown pure crystal. And I’m not touching that. I’m not even breathing near it.
Christ, I’m tempted to just mix it up in an empty plastic bowl reserved for Halloween candy, and then I’ll just dip my entire head into it. Pretend I didn’t write that.
Picnic thermos it is!
And now I’m going to commit the cardinal sin of Kool-Aid by not making it with sugar. I’m going to use Splenda. Forgive me. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson, for instance when I made Jiffy muffins the other day without the egg. I was too impatient to go out and buy eggs, so instead I mixed together vegetable oil and water as a substitute. Didn’t work. Instead of Jiffy muffins, I had Jiffy dry-desert crumble. Which convinces me that eggs must be magical.
For what’s it worth, Kool-Aid itself has caught up to the obesity epidemic with alternative instructions for using Splenda. We’ll call it the Not-As-Scary Blackberry.
My God, it takes about two hundred of those little packets.
Random thought while I was ripping open two hundred tiny packets one by one—remember when the Kool-Aid man didn’t wear clothes? Yep, they put pants on the guy sometime in the late 90s. And isn’t it better this way? I mean, I’m all for the retro, true look of my icons, but wouldn’t you rather drink Kool-Aid from a clothed pitcher rather than a naked one?
I’ll have to think more about this one.
Take heart, readers. Although Scary Blackberry powder is the disheartening color of chili powder, the end result is still spooky.
There she is, a glass of Ghoul-Aid. A classic. A beauty. A syrupy sweet refresher. The flavor is more like chemical grape than it is blackberry. Still, it’s good, and mixed with Splenda, it doesn’t make me feel like I’m racing towards kidney failure. I reward Ghoul-Aid a million points for execution, style, and taste.
Better yet, I believe my review can be summarized by the quote of a wise pitcher: