Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Revving Up with a V8

Wow---I really could have had a V8.

Rummaging in the fridge the other day, in the post-Thanksgiving version of nuclear winter, I happened to take a gander wayyy back on the third shelf down.

There they were: a few six-ounce cans of V8, "Extra Spicy" version.

I actually enjoy V8. A lot. Yet it's not something I think about buying. I cruise right by it in the grocery store.

The company's longtime tag line is spot on.

"I coulda had a V8!!"

Forget how good it tastes as part of a bastardized Bloody Mary; V8 is surprisingly refreshing (considering it's made from...VEGETABLES!) and has one of the best after tastes you'll ever find in a drink---especially one made from...VEGETABLES!



This isn't tomato juice, by the way; let's get that clear right off the bat. It looks like tomato juice, yes. And its primary flavor is clearly culled from tomatoes. But this isn't just tomato juice. The drink's name ought to tip you off: eight vegetables (at least) squeezed and mashed together into a sort of non-alcoholic hooch that'll bowl you over with its tang and flavor.

Yeah, I sound like I'm hawking the stuff, but I don't care. A swig of V8 is like smelling salts for your mouth---it wakes it up, and fast.

Yet I rarely buy it. I never ask for it at restaurants. Something so good, something I enjoy so much, yet I shove it back to the recesses of my brain. What gives?

I suppose that's what the V8 folks (it's put out by Campbell's) have been battling over the decades. They have a terrific product that sticks to the customers' consciousness like Teflon.

It simply is not the first drink of choice, despite how great it is.

I like cranberry juice, too, but that only seems to make its way into our fridge around the holidays---because it mixes really well with vodka, for one.

Might it be the cost? A good sized bottle of cranberry juice---if it's Ocean Spray, anyway---can run you every bit of four dollars, at least. V8 isn't cheap, either.

One caveat, though. Don't drink V8 on ice. Instead, wait until it gets verrry cold, then pour a glass. Then drink it quickly. It's a process, see. But trust me---I know what I'm talking about here. Follow the above instructions, and you'll enjoy your V8 immensely.

If you remember to buy some, that is.

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