PopCultureAsylum’s Countdown to Halloween Week 2: Re-creating Ecto Cooler
Hey 80s/90s kids! Think of when you were growing up and the cartoon “The Real Ghostbusters” was all the rage. Are you following me so far? Good! Now, think of the action figures, think of the proton pack and the rich kid that had both the Proton pack AND the ghost trap. Don’t think about how you’d like to time travel to dick punch them for being smug, but DO think of all the nostalgia. After playing Ghostbusters, or when it was lunch time do you remember the ultimate drink you HAD to have? If you guessed Ecto Cooler, you win bragging rights…if you said something else; you’re a freak and I assume you have no soul, because there is no other right answer.
Now, time travel to the present. Beer may have replaced Ecto Cooler as your favorite drink, but if you decide to be nostalgic about it, I got bad news for you: Ecto Cooler has been discontinued since 2007 (Slimer himself left in 1997…a full six years after the cartoon was cancelled!) While it may live on with awesome memories, some people really, really miss the hell out of it! Some have launched full scale investigations! However, one group of rabid Ghostbuster fans made what they claim is the perfect clone of the beloved Ecto Cooler.
As part of PopCultureAsylum’s countdown to Halloween (and a motivating tool for me to update this site more frequently), I’ve decided to try to mimic this clone recipe. Here’s how it turned out:
First before I dive into my recreation of Ecto Cooler, here’s the recipe for those interested:
- 3/4 cup orange juice (no pulp)
- 3/4 cup tangerine juice
- 1 packet orange Koolaid/Flavor-aid
- 1 packet tangerine Koolaid/Flavor-aid
- 1 spoonful Country Time powdered lemonade mix
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- Blue and green food coloring
Stir all ingredients in a gallon jug. Add water to fill the jug. Add food coloring until it’s just the right, unsettling shade of green.
On paper, this sounded pretty damn easy and straight forward. However, 3 grocery stores later, I’ve come to the following conclusions:
- Tangerine Koolaid/drink-mix is a hoax! (I only found Orange, Fruit Punch, Grape, and Cherry)
- Tangerines aren’t sold in Colorado. Maybe they were just out of season, but I only found plain old oranges.
- Tangerine Juice doesn’t exist on it’s own either! Much like the Koolaid flavor and the fruit itself; I could not find plain Tangerine juice. The closest I found was some orange drink that had Tangerine, Orange, and apple juice mixed.
So bottom line to this observation is that this recreation won’t be 100% accurate….more like 75% accurate instead. I didn’t do much in the way of substitutes, but I did decide to sprinkle a few squirts of whatever this stuff is (because it had Tangerine in the name):
After pouring in the lemonade and Koolaid mix, I added the sugar. I completely forgot how much sugar is in Koolaid! I mean people are complaining about energy drinks having like 4 tablespoons of sugar and yet, here we are pouring 1 1/3 of a cup into this mix and giving it to our kids!!!
I mixed that energy tangerine stuff into a ¼ of orange juice and to my surprise, that stuff is extra sweet as well! Between that and the pound of sugar that I dumped in previously, I’m anticipating a very sugary drink. After adding water it started looking pretty orange. So far so good:
But if you recall, Ecto Cooler is green like Slimer! So that’s where the food coloring comes in:
Once I got this nice and green like the original Ecto Cooler, I decided to have a sample. Since this blog is all about pop culture and cheesy crap, I decided to slip on a Ghostbuster Halloween costume I made a few years back. I mean why not drink it in style?
Overall it turned out super-sweet. It’s been nearly 2 decades since my last sip of Ecto Cooler and since I barely remember freshman year of college, it’s safe to say I forgot what it tasted like. Allegedly it’s along the lines of Orange Lavaburst so I bought some for quality assurance. I also heard that Screamin’ Tangerine was close enough that people swore it was Ecto Cooler 2.0, but that flavor, much like its predecessor has since been discontinued. So I’ll have to compare it to Orange Lavaburst instead. The juice box obviously wasn’t as sweet, but they both ended up tasting pretty citrus-y, so it’s certainly on the right track. I’m not sure if actual tangerine juice and Tangerine Koolaid would have made much of a difference, but really, is there much of a difference between tangerines and oranges? Save for a bit of sweetness in comparison? Either way, I think what I ended up with could have dealt with less sweetness. However it’s not a bad drink to serve at a Ghostbuster/Halloween party. It’s pretty tasty!
In the end, I think this is a legit recipe even though I got frustrated trying to find tangerine and tangerine related ingredients for it. Next time, I’d definitely cut down on the sugar and not add that energy squirt bottle thing and see how it goes. However, I think we can all agree that life would be much, much more convenient if they just brought Ecto Cooler back…even if they pull a “Monster Cereals” market strategy and just put it on the shelves around Halloween! Why not? Ninja Turtles and He-man came back from our childhood to the new generation, so why can’t Slimer’s Ecto Cooler? But until then this is the best way we can enjoy that beloved childhood drink.
Check back next week as we take a look at Halloween Costumes!