My favorite summer food is bottled Miller High Life beer. The most versatile of beverages, its circular, grated bottom slides spinning seamlessly into any occasion – whether an afternoon sitting by the noisy, urine-filled community pool; an evening flipping seasoned, elotes corn-on-the-cob with clicking, insectoid metal tongs on the grill; or a late, moon-lit night listening to classic-rock around the flickering fire. High Life is never out of place. As far as light, mass-produced domestic beers go, High Life contains within its bubbly, transparent glass encasement the best of every world. It’s hint of citrus provides refreshment, though its full-body is flavorful enough to be unique. It’s classic. It’s a beverage somehow both formal and trashy – somehow both pretentious and modest. And don’t go telling me that Miller High Life doesn’t qualify as food. I’ve spent many an afternoon filling my belly with that fizzy goodness, sustaining myself more than well enough – through an afternoon on the golf course, or at the pool, or by the creek – until the inevitable evening barbecue allowed me the opportunity to fill my stomach with something more traditionally “nutritious”. I can’t gush about it enough, as you can tell. It does its simple, though necessary job, perfectly.
Here is my recipe for the perfect Miller High Life beer:
1. Walk into the liquor store. Any liquor store is fine – all self-respecting establishments house the High Life on their shelves, but it’s better if it’s a local shop, where the people running the place recognize you. That way, their trivial small talk – agonizing as it may be – will put you more in the mood to consume.
2. Walk briskly through the snack aisles, averting your gaze from their tempting, magnetic pull. From my experience, Flaming Hot Cheetos are especially difficult to pass up, but regardless of whatever your favorite snack-item may be, make sure to keep walking – we’re not snacking today.
3. Upon reaching the back of the store, yank open the beer cooler with authority. Make sure to savor the refrigerated blast ejected from within; it should feel nice in contrast with the beating summer sun from which you just emerged. Remove one box of bottled Miller High Life beer. You'll be able to tell that it’s real High Life by the genius logo of a witch lounging happily astride a crescent moon.
4. Stroll confidently to the cash stand. Slide the box of beer across the counter with intention, though not so forcefully that the clerk can't catch it – you don't want your beer to fall crashing down, further staining the already dirty floor of the place.
5. Pay for your purchase. Cash or card is fine – it doesn’t much matter in this situation.
6. Go home and, before beginning your chosen summer activity, twist open the first bottle in your living room, or on your back porch. While turning the top, make sure to savor that refreshing tsss of moisture and carbonation freeing themselves from the enclosed bottle into the muggy atmosphere.
7. Take a healthy swig. Swish it around. Enjoy it.
8. After finishing that first beer, put on your trunks. Or load up your clubs, or get the kayaks out from underneath the crawlspace – whatever equipment your chosen activity requires.
9. Head out the door with a purpose, but don’t forget to put on sunglasses – that summer sun is no joke.
10. When all the beer has been drained, repeat from step one.
I hope you have enjoyed my recipe for Miller High Life. Some of you readers may not consider it authentic, traditional High Life – I understand that – but this is the way I’ve always done it; it works for me. In the end, that’s the beauty of the beverage, isn’t it? It’s versatile – it fits well in any situation. Feel free to let me know about any of your own High Life success stories – it’s always good to get some new summer inspiration!
Robert Pettus is a light-beer connoisseur. He spends most of his free time chasing his pet rabbit, Achilles, around the house.
About the author
Robert Pettus is an English as a Second Language teacher at the University of Cincinnati. He also taught for four years in rural Thailand and Moscow, Russia. He has had numerous short stories published, in both popular and academic journals
Very well written. Keep up the good work!