My buddy Fitz and I were hunkered down at a local watering hole recently, munching on oily salted bar nuts while arguing, without the faintest hint of irony, over what constitutes a healthy diet. We eventually settled the matter in a civilized fashion, by ordering shots of tequila. With lime, of course. To prevent scurvy.
“What kind you wanna do?” I asked.
“Anything but Cabo Wabo,” he said, surveying the limited tequila selection behind the bar.
“What’s wrong with Cabo Wabo,” I countered. “It’s good tequila.”
“Maybe. But the name is beat. Sounds like something me and my fraternity brothers were pounding on spring break back in the ’90s.”
“But you were never in a fraternity,” I said.
“Exactly!” he cackled. Then he tossed back a shot of room temperature Cuervo Gold.
And Fitz was right, too. The merits of the liquor aside, the name Cabo Wabo really does seem anachronistic – a remnant of a bygone era when the brand’s frizzy-haired founder Sammy Hagar defiantly sang about his inability to obey posted speed limits.
Once upon time, Sammy couldn’t drive 55 in his Ferrari BB512. Now, he is 65… and probably tooling around on a motorized scooter somewhere, bitterly complaining to anyone who’ll listen about having gotten the boot from Van Halen. It’s sad, really.
Edit: Read our interview with Sammy Hagar. He’s very much alive and probably, as we speak, grilling in Maui.
So maybe it is high time to re-brand Cabo Wabo tequila. Give it a name that evokes Sammy’s youthful rebelliousness, yet allows him to act his age. Something with dignity. Something, well, Sammy 2012.
“Fuck David Lee Roth” tequila would probably be Sammy’s first choice, but let’s face it, that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. Plus, in the spirit of the original, the name ought to rhyme so as not to piss off the loyalists. “Geriatric Spastic” tequila kinda rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? “Old Gold”? “Cranky Blanco”?
Feel free to get back to me with suggestions.
And speaking of suggestions, here are some other brands in serious need of a name makeover:
Because any adult with the slightest modicum of self-respect ought to refuse to drink anything named after something an asshole does.
2. Wodka Vodka
Is it me, or does this sound conspicuously like something being marketed to preschoolers? When I envision the Wodka Vodka distillery, I see Oompa Loompas. And Golden Tickets. And children getting DUIs on tricycles.
3. Medea Vodka
Another head-scratcher, this one named after a character from Greek mythology who murdered a bunch of people, including two of her children. Because nothing satisfies a hearty thirst for alcoholic refreshment quite like an infanticide-themed vodka.
4. Seaman’s Shot, Extra Hot and NutLiquor Peanut Butter vodka
Pair these two up, and somebody’s getting pregnant!
5. Bishop’s Finger Beer
This is actually a pretty good beer, yet the name conjures disturbing images of lecherous old clergymen proffering Wodka Vodka to unsuspecting altar boys after the congregation has gone home. What? Too soon?
6. Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Again, another delicious spirit saddled with an unfortunate name, one that in this case invokes notions of a bison urinating in a still.
7. DUDE Vodka
8. Vampyre Vodka
Well, I’ll give them this, the name really bites.
Fuq this whaq shit and its idiotiq spelling.
Because even my Mexican gardener Juan refuses to drink this swill… and he’s the guy to whom I give away all my free samples of Pucker!
Read the previous installment of The Imbiber on Food Republic.