Nebraska takes sweet turn, names Kool-Aid state drink

Published: Friday, May 22 1998 12:00 a.m. MDT

Got Kool-Aid?

Nebraska does, and on Thursday the state took the unusual step of designating something other than milk as its official beverage. That distinction goes to Kool-Aid, the sugary drink that has been popular with youngsters since it was invented in Hastings in 1927.Gov. Ben Nelson got a hug from the "Kool-Aid Man" at Thursday's signing ceremony.

For critics who may balk at the state's endorsing a sweet drink instead of milk, Nelson's spokesman, Karl Bieber, had this answer: "Well, they do have sugar-free Kool-Aid."

Bieber said the governor wanted to make the designation to put Hastings on the map as the home of one of the nation's most recognizable drinks, not to officially endorse a product.

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