Kool-Aid Liquid Drink Mix!

I haven’t written about Kool-Aid in such a long time. It’s making me itch and scratch. Today is my remedy.

New Kool-Aid “Liquid” drink mixes are wonderfully convenient and wonderful in general. I treasure the protracted powder/sugar/water process, but the truth is, there isn’t always time for that. Sometimes, you want Kool-Aid without the associated science project. This is that chance.

Each bottle contains concentrated Kool-Aid drink mix. You know it’s concentrated because the label warns us to never drink it undiluted. I wonder what would happen if we did? Would there some Wonka-style form of retribution? Maybe we’d turn red, and our eyes would morph into upside down commas? I’ll let someone braver find out.

I understand that some of you are Kool-Aid purists. To some degree, so am I. But even without the powder, this is still a fun process. You’re supposed to shoot a “squeeze” of the mix into eight ounces of water, and when I say “shoot,” I mean it. The stuff comes out at light speed, evidenced by the fact that I needed to take more than 70 photos to get the two above. Only with the help of hideously expensive Energizer Lithium batteries was I able to gut through.

And as for that “squeeze?” That’s their term, not mine. Judging by the nutritional info, each serving is meant to be half a teaspoon. Of course, since there’s no way to control this frighteningly violent firing liquid, I hope you like your Kool-Aid strong.

You’re not supposed to add sugar, and the mix has none, either. At zero calories per serving, we may assume that it’s sweetened with something that gives lab rats heart palpitations. A small price to pay for Kool-Aid that will keep the svelte svelte and the taut taut.

Besides, nobody thinks about the future when there’s a glass of delicious neon mutant juice in the present.

If I’m scaring you, it’s only because there isn’t much to say about Kool-Aid Liquid. “It’s good.”

I mean that, by the way. It really is good. I’m sure that there are psychosomatic factors at play, but even with the hundred similar liquid drink mixes on the market, in these same exact flavors, the official Kool-Aid versions create something that is purely “Kool-Aid.” Only Kool-Aid tastes like this, and brother, Kool-Aid tastes better than most things.

Plus, now I can write threatening messages in Tropical Punch drink mix.

I have a feeling that this review won’t win me any freebies from Kraft Foods.

61 Responses to Kool-Aid Liquid Drink Mix!

  1. Just when you thought Kool-Aid couldn’t get any better! Now if I could just bring myself to open this elusive Peach Mango back I have in my pantry… hmmmm #webmasterproblems.

  2. I don’t know about drinking this stuff uncut, but I was dared to eat a single-serving packet of Kool-Aid once, and that went pretty badly for me.

  3. @Review: I’ve had the Peach Mango. It wasn’t bad but it didn’t strike me as too “Kool-Aid like.” I remember it tasting more like one of those fancy iced tea mixes that you get sucked into buying and regret later.

    @Dale: Ah yes. Like chewing on tin foil if you had a filling, I think every kid had to learn the lesson about eating raw Kool-Aid.

  4. After reading this article I know one thing. I need a Pac-Man drinking glass, just like the one above.

    I would never have know liquid Kool-Aid existed, if not for you Matt. I thank you for that. I’ll have to give them a try.

  5. “natural flavor with other natural flavor”

    … I love it.

  6. @Paul, thank you for bringing the glasses up. I meant to do an aside about them.

    Some of you have probably noticed my various “thematic” glasses turning up in photos over the years. If so, you may have noticed their increasing battle damage.

    So next time you’re at Target or whatever and eyeing a novelty four-pack of cool glasses, just know that the art will slowly be destroyed over time. It’s a miracle that this one Pac-Man has lasted so long.

    The second glass used to have the Christmas Story leg lamp. Now it just has the Christmas Story leg lampshade.

  7. @Matt I know all too well what you’re talking about. I’ve been persuaded to buy a large canister of ice tea + lemonade hybrid I only ever used a 5th of. Have you seen Watermelon? Just spotted it for the 1st time last night and got it. Not the old Invisible Watermelon or Watermelon Cherry but pure Watermelon with bold NEW! graphics.

  8. I never was sure why..but for some reason we never had alot of Kool-Aid in the house growing up. I suspect my mother was horrified at the thought of being the mother of one of the kids with constantly red mouths.

  9. @Review: I can’t say that I have, but I can’t believe there was never outright “Watermelon” before! Maybe it was something they killed and brought back? (On the other hand, I have fricktons of K-A, and I can’t recall “Watermelon” immediately.)

    Most of the stores around here rarely restock the packets. The department stores are a bit better, but the grocery stores are awful. It was a miracle that I ever found the resurgent Ghoul-Aid.

  10. I love the photos of the drink mix hitting the water and going all cloudy. (I had to work hard to avoid making that sentence sound dirty.)

    My mom used to get some other brand of powdered drink mix. I can’t really remember what it was called though. Flavor Aid? She also used to buy Crystal Light all the time. I could go the rest of my life without ever drinking that awful crap again.

  11. Flavor Aid was another, yep! There was also Hawaiian Punch mix, which was pretty legendary if more rarely seen. (I can still remember the day the neighbor kid’s mother busted that out. I was floored and envious.)

  12. It is mildly infuriating to me that the mix in the blue bottle is not blue.

  13. DUDE. I bought it because I thought “blue.” I don’t know how I came to this conclusion, because I was and remain perfectly aware that K-A Tropical Punch is RED.

    But yeah, that was maddening. I chose these two because I wanted to photograph blue and orange glasses. Dammit.

  14. Kool aid is a soft spot for me. It’s literally all I would drink a child. I’m going to have to check this stuff out….. but I am going to have to try it sans water first. I live in the fast lane, and I don’t accept it when products tell me not to do things with them.

    I bought it, I’ll do what I want.

  15. My pregnant wife is obsessed with blue Kool-Aid. She has terrible morning (read: all day) sickness and it’s one of the few drinks she can enjoy. Too bad about the fake sugar though. I don’t think she’s allowed artificial, rat heart palp sweeteners.

    Matt, did you ever review those juice drinks that are packaged in little barrels? They’re not really juice…more like drink.

  16. @Sticky Bandit: I have not outright reviewed them, but they have come up many times. We called them “quarter drinks” around here, owing to their price, duh. They meant everything to us. They were always there. They were practically currency.

    In retrospect, they also tasted pretty awful. I like the juice in those wax bottle candies, but this was like drinking a thousand of them.

  17. Sorry for DP… Matt do you ever go back and read your old stuff like most of us do?

  18. I try not to, there are too many grammatical offenses and I have enough of a hard time catching the ones I only made lately.

  19. Kool Aid needs to capitalize on this idea and bring back some old flavors. Great Bluedini, Purplesaurus Rex and Raspberry Cranberry (that stuff was DELICIOUS with Vodka) to start with.

  20. No lie, I would only drink this stuff it came in the following 3 flavors:

    Great Bluedini
    Purple Saurus Rex
    Pink Swimingo

    that is all. Keep up the good work sir.

  21. I’m currently deployed and I can’t tell you the hours of joy and entertainment you bring me when I get a chance to surf the net. Thanks for making time fly by fast!

  22. No Scary Blackberry, no sale. :)

  23. “I have enough of a hard time catching the ones I only made lately.”

    “I hope you like you Kool-Aid strong”


    I drink gallons of artificially flavored colorful sugar-free caffeine-free drink flavor liquid taste mix, by a brand called Mio, which allows me to punish water for tasting like nothing.

    Screw you, water. Fish make love in you.

  24. “Besides, nobody thinks about the future when there’s a glass of delicious neon mutant juice in the present.” = pure gold :)

  25. So this is Kool-Aid branded Mio?

    I too, thought the Tropical Punch was blue as well. But I should’ve known better. Anything with “punch” attached to it is usually red. I’ll pretty much drink any blue beverage, and I owe it all to Kool-Aid(was there another besided Great Bluedini?)!

  26. Your taut taut? I think you mean your taint tainted. By the Kool-Aid concentrate, of course… (how it’d get on your taint to begin with, I have no idea)

  27. I see these every time I go to Walmart. I drink MIO mixes all the time, and sometimes pick up a new flavor. I think the main selling point is they are small. So you can put them in your backpack, desk, drawer etc. and that is all you need to add to the water. Also there are no calories.

    MIO has a Cranberry Raspberry version.

    One of my favorite MIO flavors is the Strawberry Watermelon kind.

    My favorite caffeinated version is the Strawberry Kiwi version. Also Black Cherry. Strawberry Kiwi is the Walmart Great Value brand.

    I know some people blend flavors, but I don’t really want to. They have a new Lemonade version now. So I am tempted to make an Arnold Palmer with it but like you said the squirts are so hard to measure I think I wouldn’t get it right. Maybe make real black tea with a couple of squirts of lemonade?

    And the “quarter drinks” you mentioned they are called Lil Hugs. I see them at Walmart all the time. They drank them on Freaks and Geeks all the time and every time I rewatch that show I think oh cool Lil Hugs!! But also they are ridiculously cheap. So I can imagine poor people drinking them a lot. Like you said Matt, they taste like not frozen freezer pops. So artificial and totally not healthy. They probably rot a kids teeth out if they drink a lot of it.

    Also they have a Hawaiian Punch liquid version too. It’s a huge new fad now. The koolaid ones seem the cheapest, but Mio really has dominated the market as far as variety on flavors.

  28. Sticky Bandit & Goob – In the Bronx(damn I’ve been upstate for 10 years now?!), we used to refer to Lil Hugs as crackhead juice(I’m sure it’s obvious why). Which brings me to my question(maybe Matt or Rev. have the answer)…Do they still sell “quarter waters” in the boroughs? These were great, because sometimes you didn’t want to chug straight sugar.

  29. @Joel: Thanks, mang!

    @Rev: Damn, womang!

  30. Knowing me, I’d just make an entire pitcher using the stuff instead of a glass. I find that a “single use” packet of the powder will last through two 32oz waterbottles.

  31. As a guy who can’t get through a day without Mio energy to my water, I hope this brings the same jitters.

    I am such an agent for the old school, I like Kool-Aid that can be can be sorted in a card catalog or index file.

  32. Correct, Kool-Aid without a packet is not Kool-Aid at all. Even the Kool-Aid “Bursts” don’t count. Those are Squeezit’s, everyone knows that.

  33. Jason, a kid in high school once told us in class that he called Top Ramen crackhead food. He said his brother lived on the streets as a crackhead begging for money. The rare time he got hungry, he would beg for a little more money to get Top Ramen, then he would eat it straight out of the package. So Top Ramen was always to be called crackhead food. I think someone mentioned how they liked Top Ramen, so we got blessed with that story. I went to alternative school the last year and a half of high school. So I went to class with all the kids that were in rehab, the teenage mothers, all of them that were getting a second chance to graduate.

  34. As I’m reading the comments concerning Lil’ Hugs aka “Crackhead Juice” (hilarious), I’ve come to realize that my parents really neglected my nutrition when I was a kid.

    Nothing like mowing down a Steak-Ums sandwich and washing it down with a little barrel of blue sugar water…balanced diet.

  35. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one bothered by a red drink in a blue bottle. I thought that was the whole point of making the packaging the same color as the food, so we know we’ll be getting our favorite color.

    Besides, everyone knows red is the best flavor.

  36. I was gonna bring up Mio as well, but Goob beat me to it. I like that stuff in general, but I recently tried the Peach Tea version as a mixer since all the other flavors have been awesome with vodka, but THAT ONE was a gigantic mistake. I’m genuinely surprised it didn’t immediately come back up out of my mouth to somehow laugh at me. Haven’t had the nerve to go back and try it plain…

    I will have to try these Kool-aid flavors though….

  37. If mixed with seltzer, would the orange flavor make the *best orange soda in existence?*

  38. @Shawn: I can see that working out fabulously. Better patent it.

  39. I don’t get the whole Mio thing. I like water, provided it doesn’t taste like Clorox or aquarium water. Occasionally I get tired of water, and then I reach for the unsweetened tea. Kool-Aid is good sometimes, but generally I just don’t really like fakey-tasting things.

  40. UPDATE: YES IT MAKES THE BEST ORANGE SODA. Now I want to try it with the other flavors.

  41. In highschool I drank unmixed Moutain Dew syrup and lived and that stuff is probably like 100 times worse for you than Kool-Aid.

  42. I saw that in the store the other day and it looks awesome, but I’m holding out for Tang in little squeezy bottles like that.

  43. “I had to work hard to avoid making that sentence sound dirty”Annette
    Don’t worry, whatever you were going to write couldn’t have been worse than “… there’s no way to control this frighteningly violent firing liquid.”.

  44. Reminds me of Zarex. Now that was some seriously nasty stuff to drink straight. I am still a purist though, Kool Aid is meant to be the powdered stuff that you would eat straight from the canister. BTW ever wonder if they made the Kool Aid Man pay for all the stuff he busted?

  45. I guess it was “evolve or die time”for Kool Aid in the face of all this Mio foofaraw.Now, when I bought the Juiceman Juicer back in the 90′s I was warned not to drink straight beet juice for ominously vague reasons, so naturally I made myself a nice glass of”Borcht in the raw”.It was just too much for my body to process quickly and made me sweat and palpitate.I’m guessing concentrated Kool Aid probably would produce a similar effect.Also: who has 2 thumbs and is old enough to remember Funny Face With-It Watermelon? This Guy!

  46. Goob – I still refer to Ramen noodles as crackhead soup to this day.

    Juge – Nice! :)

  47. GloKat! Love it.

  48. @GloKat – Way to take one for the team! Now I feel compelled to pick some up on the way home from work tomorrow and make my own video. Kool-Aid Liquid Challenge!

    Although, I don’t think anything will top the time Matt ate Nads. http://www.x-entertainment.com/messages/373.html

  49. GloKat – Way to take one for the team!

  50. This made me far happier than I have any right to be over an article about Kool-Aid. Maybe all the Kool-Aid I drank as a kid has fried my brain.

  51. Chalk this up to another product that I’m glad that you tried, but that I have no desire to try myself. We thank you for your sacrifice. At the end of the day though, it’s powder pack or nothing for me.

    I’ll stand up for Crystal Light. It’s grown on me over the years and they do make some pretty good flavors. It’s no Kool-Aid, but I do really like their strawberry lemonade.

    And I know it’s been said already, but OMG Pac-Man glass!

  52. hi, sorry to bother the thread, but I got a new computer and I can’t find the link to the RSS feed for the site, does anyone have it

  53. The position of Kool-Aid man’s face and the shape of the bottle remind me of the “forever alone” meme a little bit.

  54. I treasure the protracted powder/sugar/water process, but the truth is, there isn’t always time for that.

    A lesser writer would have written, “I treasure the protracted powder/sugar/water process, but ain’t nobody got time for that.” You didn’t take the easy way out, and I commend you for that, sir.

    Back “in the day,” we used to take empty Bubble Tape containers (the old school kind that opened with a lid, not along the middle like they do now) and fill them with Kool Aid powder and eat it. We usually used the sweetened kind, but every once in a while, some brave soul would use the unsweetened king. Woo, that stuff was rough. I’m tempted to get this stuff and drink it straight, but GloKat may have discouraged me from trying that.

    It would be so awesome to see them resurrect old flavors in this bold new medium, but I can’t believe no one has mentioned ECTO-COOLER yet!

    Oh…wait…that was Hi-C…shit. Nevermind.

  55. I liked the fizzy tablets they were putting out every Summer until recently.

  56. Oddly enough, I don’t think I’ve seen this at the grocery store where I work yet. I’ve seen Crystal Light’s version, but not Kool-Aid. It’s probably on its way. I prefer powder, too, but only because it’s cheaper.

  57. I did a shot straight from the package of this stuff.

    Oh man. Ooohhh man. Don’t do that.

  58. I have one of every flavor. Crystal light and mio taste chemical-ish. This stuff is legit, delicious KOOL-AID. Just don’t think about the Sucralose. Ugh. It’s still my go to for all my bottled water.

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