Sweet Deal: Arizona House Votes to Make Lemonade the State Drink

Life, lemons, Legislature, et cetera.
Life, lemons, Legislature, et cetera. Melissa Fossum
Legislators in the Arizona House of Representatives voted to make lemonade the official state drink on Thursday, once again demonstrating their commitment to the pressing issues facing the state.

The one-line bill, HB 2692, is the product of a Gilbert student who emailed his elected representative, Republican House Majority Leader Warren Petersen, to ask if Petersen would help Arizona join other states that have enshrined an official drink in state law.

Garrett Glover, an 18-year-old senior at Gilbert Classical Academy, told the Arizona Republic last month he felt lemonade was a natural choice for a state where the five C's – copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate – include a fruit product.

Although the symbolic measure easily passed on a 57-3 vote, a few legislators were sour on the bill.

"I know a lot of people who don't like lemonade," Representative Athena Salman, a Democrat from Tempe, said on the House floor. "So, I vote no."

"Lemonade, really?" Representative John Allen said, feigning outrage. (He voted yes anyway.)

Noel Campbell, a Republican representative from Prescott, voted no, offering this as an explanation: "I think, in the spirit of the cultural diversity of this state, that our state drink ought to be Jose Cuervo!" he exclaimed.

"As the world's most interesting man, I thought you'd go another way," House Speaker Rusty Bowers replied.

Arizona lawmakers have approved a variety of state emblems over the years. They include an official firearm (the Colt Single Action Army revolver), an official mammal (the raccoon-like ringtail), an official neckwear (the bolo tie), an official fish (the Apache trout), and an official metal (copper, duh).

The most recent addition to the pantheon was a state dinosaur, the Sonorasaurus, which lawmakers approved last year after a student wrote to Governor Doug Ducey.

But at the moment, there is no official drink.

HB 2692 now advances to the Senate, where it will almost certainly face public opprobrium from senators in the pocket of the beer and dairy industries.

Glover, it seems, has watched the legislative process with state history in mind.

"After I'm dead, this will still be here so it's kind of like a little legacy," he told the Republic. "It's not like a huge thing like FDR's New Deal. ... It just means I changed something, no matter how small it is."
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Joseph Flaherty is a staff writer at New Times. Originally from Wisconsin, he is a graduate of Middlebury College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Contact: Joseph Flaherty