If you’ve spent any time browsing the malt liquor at 7-11, you’ve probably noticed that above the Olde English, between the Smirnoff Ice and Mike’s Hard Lemonade, there are some new contenders in the malt beverage bar fight. The “Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita” launched in 2012, and with great success it led to extensions such as Straw-Ber-Rita, Mang-O-Rita, and Apple-Ahhh-Rita. These drinks take high gravity Bud Light Lime (8% ABV) and mix it with sweet flavorings to “provide a refreshingly inviting margarita flavor.” What they mean to say is, combining beer and margarita mix tastes better than you think it would!
Based on the success of the Rita beverages, A-B InBev, the brewer that makes Budweiser, Corona, and many other popular beers, continues to blur the line between beer and cocktails. The brewer recently announced that they are prepping a new extension of Bud Light called Mixx Tail. It’s unclear exactly what these products will be, but one of the brewer’s distributors revealed that the product would come in such flavors as Hurricane, Firewalker, and Long Island Ice Tea. Unfortunately, only one of those has an identifiable flavor profile, but the other two would make pretty good DJ names.
Mixx Tail, on the other hand, is an evocative name that immediately brings to mind a mixed drink. However, at first glance, I wasn’t the only one that thought the name was Mixx Trail, which evokes more of a granola infused cocktail. Dyslexia aside, let’s dissect this name. The letter X is powerful, and it takes center stage in this name. The double X, although perhaps a bit overkill, is visually interesting, and in this context connotes intoxication and an “adults only” feel. Do you remember cartoon images of Bugs Bunny drinking out of a XXX bottle, hiccupping with X’s in his eyes? The word mix itself, however, is more descriptive. A mixologist takes alcohol and flavorings and mixed them together to create a cocktail. This idea hits on the novelty of the product, that it is a new combination of tastes. Finally, tail reassures you: yes, this product is in fact alcoholic. The name is itself a cocktail of “mixed drink” and “cocktail.” To take it one step further, though, tail hints at sex. This is a subtle, and maybe unintended, message, but the idea that you can consume this product, get drunk, and then get some tail is an idea that sells.
Staring into the depths of the glass here, I don’t see the reason for making it two separate words. Mixxtail or MixxTail are more visually interesting and would quell my granola confusion. Furthermore, I’m unclear as to why one combines mixed drink and cocktail in the first place… They’re both the same thing! It would be more interesting to combine Mixx or Tail with something non-alcoholic. MixxUp? MaiTail? Anyways, I’m off to figure out what a hurricane tastes like. Please enjoy this name responsibly.