Socrates died from drinking a poisoned cup of hemlock, Christ had with him a glass of wine at The Last Supper and Rasputin consumed a tainted chalice of wine. These historical figures, all eventually subject to demise, share one commonality: a drink. As we, too, eventually stride toward our malnutrition-induced ends (thanks, Domino’s), let us be remembered by the drink we carried with us. The Dobbs University Center (DUC) has beverages of variable quality, but undoubtedly three stand out as the top. They are:

  1. Orange Juice

I remember my childhood orange juice as bitter and unappealing. At the DUC, however, I taste not the bitterness of my childhood, but a pleasant sweetness. The tart sugariness of the juice balances the umami of my standard vegetable wrap, creating a symbiotic clash of flavors that blows up in my mouth like fireworks. The lettuce acts as a cleanser, wiping away my sullied palate and leaving me hungry for the intricate blend of the acidity of the juice, the sharpness of the provolone and the crunch of the vegetables.

Orange juice is like the friend who ensures you do not go out too much. It anchors an otherwise overpowering dish and provides it with a gastronomic equilibrium.

  1. Mountain Berry Blast Powerade

Life is all about experiences. Some moments, you experience euphoria, others sadness. This balanced yet whimsical nature of living is what gives life its value; how can you truly know the apex of happiness when you have never felt the troughs of depression?

This flavor of Powerade is an ingestible representation of the balance described by such revered figures as Gautama Buddha. With its light tang, it complements a textured, spicy dish such as a jalapeno-filled sandwich, providing a pacifying “middle way” without deterring the inherent beauty of the meal. It is better fruit punch, except unlike that red poison, I won’t kick you face-first into a furnace if you drink Powerade.

1. Cherry Coca-Cola

Orange juice celebrates sugar, Powerade eulogizes balance. But these drinks, intended for mere mortals, are naught but bricks in comparison to the house that is Cherry Coke. Boasting a ludicrous concentration of sugar and chemicals that you would need a PhD in organic chemistry to identify, 1985 science produced this ambrosic liquid, this ethereal elixir too sophisticated for the average palate.

With its fruity sweetness, like a mother’s kiss on a bruise after a day of brutal soccer, it caresses the soul with a gentle warmth, acting in this way as the ideal conjugate to a pepperoni pizza or a cheeseburger. On the other hand, it possesses a fiery kick like an aged whisky, capable of igniting your innate passion and animating an otherwise boring meal (like an unseasoned salad, or any of the generic chickpea dishes you picked up at the global station by accident).

Soft and sweet, yet also passionate and stinging, Cherry Coke is the boisson de jour (drink of the day), capable of injecting meaning into an otherwise meaningless meal, ergo an otherwise meaningless life. It allows one to see two polar opposites of flavor comprehension, leading to an almost spiritual transcendence that defies the capacity of your average beverage.

So, accompanying beverages. Are your thoughts any different?