Cross-brand promotions are a funny thing. Sometimes, as with Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Tacos, they’re surprisingly amazing. But then, other times—ie, right now—they go terribly, terribly awry. I am referring, of course, to the “DEW® Garita - the First Official MTN DEW® Cocktail.”
As I’ve written before, I staunchly do not believe in shaming people for their food choices, but this cross-branded promotion—which comes to us from PepsiCo and, for some reason, Red Lobster—is an abomination. Pouring some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–looking gamer beverage into a conical cobalt blue glass doesn’t make it a fucking margarita, and while I have surprisingly fond memories of Red Lobster, it is not even conceptually the right place to go for this type of drink.
As written about by spirits expert Kara Newman, the margarita was invented sometime in the late ’30s or early ’40s and the classic version includes blanco tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur (triple sec), ice, and a salted rim. This new, nuclear green iteration is not a margarita. The press release issued alongside the legitimately haunting image of the concoction doesn’t even use the word “tequila”! What is that rim made of, freeze dried pig’s blood? Not to be utter purists here, but this thing is a branding fever dream, the kind of product arrived at by a bunch of marketers who quite possibly fundamentally misunderstand their consumer base. Aren’t the majority of Dew drinkers underage? Isn’t Red Lobster where people go when they want to have an affordable upscale experience unmarred by viral drink gimmicks?
The “DEW® Garita” should have a cinder block tied to the stem of its glass and be dropped into a fetid river. It is wrong, and it should be destroyed.