THE RED SOLO CUP
The ubiquitous and venerable veteran of cookouts, camping trips, picnics and parties — the large red plastic SOLO cup — has a practical use, aside from being a convenient carrier of liquid refreshment.
The various lines around the cup are not just for decoration. Nor are they an engineering concept that makes the sides of the cup stronger. Can a circle have sides?
Regardless, it seems, according to recent information on the Internet, that the rings are actually graduations that allow the user to measure various drinks.
The bottom ring is the 1 oz. mark and is the pour limit for whiskey, vodka, scotch, etc. I oz. is a “shot”, right?
The second ring is the 4-5 oz. mark and indicates the pour limit for wine, champagne, and stuff like that.
The third ring is the 8-10 oz. mark and delineates the pour limit for stuff like Smirnoff Ice, Colt 45 and other malt type liquors.
The ring above that is the 12 oz. mark and is the pour limit for beer, Coke, Mountain Dew and other soft drinks.
What’s left over is for the ice to keep your drink cold. It’s also a splash shield for those that have had to much of a good thing at the one-to-eight ounce levels.
When I first saw this on the Internet, I though, “Nah!”. So I did a little quick research and the following links seem to substantiate what I had read earlier. I did not check with SOLO; but when schools like Northeastern University weigh in on the pro side of the argument, I figure that I’ll accept that as authentication that supports the claim.
Even KUNC, an NPR radio station, in Colorado had this to say
Accepting stuff at face value, even from a normally reliable source, can sometimes put you behind the eight ball, so to speak.
The reason I say that is this: The following is a rebuttal to the idea that SOLO actually made their cups with customers mixology requirements incorporated into the design. Knowing what very little I do know about engineering the position that the self-stated engineer in this Reddit forum takes, makes more sense to me.
After all, I have grabbed cheap plastic cups that did not have stabilizing rings around them and had the cup collapse in my hand and the contents wind up on the ground, in someone’s lap or all over the front of my shirt.
I have also experienced “vacuum lock” whereby it would take two strong men, a fair-sized chisel and a six pound hammer to separate them. You’d be better off just passing the bottle around. Been there and done that too!
Regardless, the red SOLO cup has become and American icon. From lavish lunches to landfills and tailgate parties, the red SOLO cup can be found in prodigious numbers. There was at least one song written about the red SOLO cup:
From where I sit, it doesn’t make any difference if you believe that the rings on a SOLO cup are measurement rings to help you mix your drinks, or if they really are stabilizers to keep the cup from collapsing inward, or they truly are nesting ledges to keep them from vacuum locking.
What’s important to me is that they can be filled with Mountain Dew – no ice! I drink my Dew like a man … straight up! And I drink it from glasses, bottles, insulated mugs and red SOLO cups with no regard for quantity — jes’ fill ‘er up!