Yes, it's super sweet and chock-full of high fructose corn syrup and Red 40 food coloring, and I should eschew all of that, but hell, I'm a North Carolina girl and one of the best things to come out of the state - other than (in no particular order) Mr. Andy "Matlock" Griffith, public radio's Carl Kasell, author Thomas Wolfe, musicians Tori Amos, Ben Folds, Nina Simone and James Taylor; Duke basketball, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts - is Cheerwine.
Don't know about Cheerwine? Bless your little ignorant heart. Check it out, please, if you're ever in North Carolina. You'll be glad you bypassed the Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Sprite and whatnot for some carbonated cherry yum-yums. (I love that http://www.cheerwine.com/ converts into http://www.itsasoftdrink.com - it's kind of a weird-ass page. Do take a look-see.) Made by Carolina Beverage Corporation of Salisbury, North Carolina, since 1917, it's a fine tasting soft drink, indeed.
A friend who hails from Long Island asked us to bring him some when we visited friends in Raleigh over Labor Day Weekend. We happily obliged, hauling back a 12-can pack to split with our foodie comrade. Scott discovered it makes a fantastic ice cream float and I tried it with bourbon for a little Friday night cocktail last week. Amazing!
However, the best way to enjoy Cheerwine is with a Lexington-style BBQ pulled pork sandwich. I grew up eating Gary's BBQ in China Grove, N.C., but in the Piedmont region of N.C. you can't ball up a paper napkin and sling it without hitting some sort of eating establishment that claims to have the best barbecue in the South. And most likely you'll find they have Cheerwine on the menu.
We're fresh out of Cheerwine now, but I foresee a trip back down in the near future for the holidays - yay, Santa and Baby Jesus and turkey with all the trimmings - so we're not terribly bummed about it.
Hope you have an excellent weekend lined up - we're going apple picking on Sunday. A great blog post in the making, I know it!