It’s National Have a Coke Day. If you haven’t had one in a while, or if you live in one of those cities that has added a huge tax to a sugary drink, I suggest you live a little today and have one for old times sake.

When I was a kid, my girlfriends and I would collect some change, or empty pop bottles and go to the corner store to buy some Cokes and a bag of M&M’s. At the time, a Coke, in a bottle, was 10 cents, plus 2 cents deposit. I think a bag of M&M’s was 5 cents. We had to go to the kitchen to open the Cokes with a bottle opener. Then we would go out and sit on the porch to split the M&M’s and drop them one by one in the pop bottle. You couldn’t do it quickly, because each one made the drink fizz. Then we would swish the bottle until all the color had come off the M&M’s. The drink was now a muddy color and not very cold but what a treat. We ate the chocolate last, tipping the bottles upside down into our mouths and thumping on the end to get the morsels to fall. No one ever chipped a tooth, but I think that was just luck.

I don’t think it would be near the fun today because Coke now comes in cans or plastic with screw-off tops. Back then it was a process, a labor of love almost. Sometimes my mother or sisters would see our concoction and with a sneer, ask what we were drinking. I miss the innocence of childhood when such little things made us giggle. I think I would do it even today if my grandson joined me. But he’s a thinker. I can hear him saying, “Grandma, why would you do that?” I guess I won’t ask him if he wants to.

Now days I have Coke in the fridge as a mixer for my adult beverages. I like my whiskey and bourbon mixed with Coke. I know, it’s fattening, but the beverage just doesn’t taste the same mixed with anything else and by itself it is too strong and doesn’t last near as long.

Whether a child putting chocolate in a Coke, or as an adult, adding some adult beverage, it always seems to taste better when shared with a friend.