In California, carbonated soft drink fans have long enjoyed a little local delicacy called Cactus Cooler. A welcome addition to any backyard barbecue, beach party, or anywhere else the blistering sun beckons you to reach for some ice-cold refreshment, the overwhelmingly sweet nectar contained in these yellow, orange and green cans has been quenching thirsts for decades. Let’s look back at this beloved beverage.
If the name sounds familiar for some reason, you might remember that Fred Flintstone also had a favorite drink called a cactus cooler on The Flintstones. He is said to have inspired this uniquely flavored, real-life concoction, a delectable mix of pineapple and orange flavors. The drink isn’t overly carbonated, making it very easy to chug down on a hot summer day. It is, however, amazingly sweet and provides a sugar rush that will catch your attention.
For the uninitiated, the trick, of course, is to locate Cactus Cooler. Even in California, it has always received far less real estate on store shelves than the competition, and is usually hiding at the end of the aisle, alongside the Canada Dry ginger ale (who distributed the soft drink for many years). Today, the brand falls under the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, giving legions of fans in other parts of the country hope that someday they might be able to walk into a store and buy a Cactus Cooler. Until then, the product is available for purchase online.
If you were lucky enough to grow up in Cactus Cooler country, share your memories of this rare soft drink delicacy with all of us at Retroland in our comments section, as we tip our hats to this legendary local favorite.