Shooting the Breeze(r)

In the early 90’s, a new style of drink was born. Those of us who were teenagers or twenty-somethings in the 90’s will remember the excitement (and horror, for parents of teenagers everywhere) caused by a new beverage known as, wait for it, the alcopop. Large drinks companies were creating and marketing a modern twist on traditional weekend drinking. No more struggling to sip at glasses of sour flavoured white wine or down pints of bitter-tasting lager: now we could get plastered whilst feeling like we were still guzzling down the fizzy pop of our childhoods. And there was no more luridly coloured, plentifully-flavoured beverage than the Bacardi Breezer.

Available in a host of delectable flavours, from staples such as orange, raspberry and lime, through to the more unique cranberry, pomegranate and even ruby grapefruit, Bacardi were on to a winner. Gaggles of squealing late-teenage girls in Doc Martens and crop tops could now get fantastically tipsy with a drink which came in a myriad vivid colours (one to match every outfit) and distinctly palatable flavours. Even more memorable was the violet vomit which was often a result of over-consumption of the blueberry flavour.

For those watching their weight, Breezers were available in a low sugar variety, further extending the ridiculously large selection of Breezers available. A particularly feminine alcopop, every gal had her favourite Breezer, and it was not unusual to see minor scuffles at the bar over who got the last watermelon-flavoured bottle. Frantically fluttering eyelashes marked a girl on a desperate mission to grab the bartender’s attention and snag the final crimson-coloured bottle before any of her friends managed to. It was a matter of pride.

And who could forget the dancing cat adverts? What a cat had to do with a multicoloured drink aimed at young women was beyond most people, but the popularity of amusing cat videos on YouTube these days proves that shoehorning the toe-tapping kitty into the Breezer adverts was a winning formula. Add in a befuddled old lady who has no idea that her beloved kitten is tearing up the town every night, and the adverts were a sure success. Latin spirit in every one? Well apparently there was.

In a decade where vibrant coloured clothing was hugely popular, having a drink to complete the look just added to the appeal of the Breezer. What made Breezer’s extra chic was the fact that the media’s demonisation of the alcopop meant that parents absolutely hated them. Painted as the drinks industry’s way of peddling alcohol to those not yet old enough to drink it, they were the ultimate accessory of rebellion.

Sadly, the Bacardi Breezer died a death sometime in the late 90’s as their too-bright colours and adolescent flavours became too obvious a drink for ever-evolving, fashion-conscious teens. Still, we will remember them, lined up enticingly side by side in the fridges of every bar in every town, as Haddaway’s ‘What is Love?’ boomed away in the background of any typical mid-90’s club.

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