(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Those Gen X drinks back in the day just hit different. If you’re a kid who grew up in the ’80s or early ’90s, you know what I mean.


I had a paper route starting age 12. Every afternoon, after school, I would deliver the Wakefield Daily Item to subscribers in my neighborhood of Greenwood. The Item was published daily, five days a week, and a weekly subscription for home delivery cost $1.65. Every Thursday, I would collect from my customers, and almost all of them would tip me. Some gave me $2 ($0.35 tip), others gave me $3 ($1.35 tip!) Usually, I’d clear about $30 in tips. $20 would go in the bank, and $10 would go in my pocket.


That’s a decent amount of walkin’ around money for a middle-schooler. And I spent a decent amount of it at the Greenwood Pharmacy. They had a Slush Puppie machine that we abused so egregiously (2 pumps in a medium? Try 5!) that they finally moved it behind the counter. Luckily, a Pump’n Pantry had recently opened on the other side of Main St., so my friends and I took our business there. Because their Slush Puppie machine was still ripe for misuse and abuse.


Gen X Drinks: Which One Did You Love as a Kid?

By the time I became a regular at Pump’n Pantry, I had graduated to more mature libations. What was better back in the day than walking around town with an IBC Root Beer? It looked like you were drinking an *actual* beer! And remember OK Soda? The quintessential Gen-X soft drink. Those two are in the mix for this week’s 12-Inch Poll, alongside a bunch of other throwback beverages. Refresh yourself with a selection of back-in-the-day refreshments, vote for your favorite, then hit the ROCK 92.9 Facebook or Twitter to shout out any others I might have missed.

  • Capri Sun

    🎶It’s great-tasting fun when you punch open one!🎶

  • Clearly Canadian

    New York Seltzer for the more sophisticated Gen X palate.

  • Crystal Pepsi

    Nobody drank this. Hell, the SNL parody was more popular than the actual product.

  • Fresca

    Fresca’s popularity dates back to the ’60s, but I remember getting cans out of the soda machine at the Wakefield Bowladrome in the late ’80s.

  • Fruitopia

    I mean, they got Kate Bush sign off on the commercial, so that’s a win, right?

  • IBC Root Beer

    IBC knew their bottles looked like beer bottles. And they smartly played into it.

  • Icee

    Like a Slurpee, but you can only get it at the movie theater!

  • Jolt Cola

    100% the sugar, double the caffeine. Children should not have been allowed to drink this.

  • Little Hugs

    For ’80s, and ’90s kids, this is the taste of summer.

  • New Coke

    A marketing disaster. The ultimate Gen X “you had to be there” moment.

  • New York Seltzer

    These were SO GOOD. Black Cherry and Lemon Lime, in particular.

  • OK Soda

    The quintessential Gen X soft drink. Marketed and sold.

  • Slurpee

    A staple for any Gen X kid who grew up with a 7-11 in their ‘hood.

  • Slush Puppie

    Then there were those of us who grew up on Slush Puppies. Fun in a cup!

  • Snapple

    The Snapple Lady! A ’90s legend!

  • Sobe

    The lizard told me to be myself and also to drink Sobe beverages and who am I to argue with the lizard?

  • Sunny D

    Or “Sunny Delight,” if you’re old enough to remember.

  • Surge

    The unofficial beverage of rap-rock and nu-metal.

  • Tang

    The Boomers that raised us were all: “we drank Tang growing up so you will, too!”

  • Veryfine Juice

    From right here in Massachusetts!

  • Yoo-hoo

    Another soft drink that transcends generations. But Generation X drank our fair share.

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