Cups! Cups! Cups!



We’ve had a huge response to AMT289, and nearly all of it concerns cups! Firstly, many of you got in touch, from places as diverse as Wales, the South of France and Windsor to inform us that there ARE proper china cups in Pret a Manger. So file Pret cups under ‘Things we didn’t believe in because we haven’t seen them with our own eyes’, along with the dark side of the moon, Argentina and Emmerdale.

Pret cups: photographic evidence

Pret cups: photographic evidence

Numerous correspondents were also moved to write in regarding red Solo cups, those essential vessels of America. Although still nobody provided an answer for why they are almost always red (with occasional forays into blue). WHY ARE THEY RED, AMERICA, WHY???

Anyway, while we wait for the White House to supply that important information, here are some additional Solo cup facts. Kyle from West Lafayette, Indiana is a red Solo cup expert, because:

I am currently a member of a fraternity, and we use red Solo cups for multiple reasons:

-They are extremely cheap and can be found anywhere in the United States.
-For absolutely no charge, some marketing companies will provide us with red Solo cups with movie logos printed on them. All we have to do is take pictures of people partying with the cups, and the company keeps sending more.
-Standardized cups make drinking games like beer pong and flip cup easier because the players have had a lot of practice on them before.
-Each solo cup has indentations marking the size of one shot, one glass of wine, and, at the very top, one glass of beer.

Elaborating upon the last point, Eric from New Jersey writes:

The ubiquitous American red Solo cup is interesting because the lines on the cup are markers for different servings of alcohol. The bottom line is a shot of liquor (1 ounce), the middle line is a glass of wine (5 ounces) and the top line is a glass of beer (12 ounces). The company that makes Solo cups has said these lines are unintentional but accurate. This makes it very easy to serve people in a party setting. So, answer me this: do the knock-off brands in the UK also have these volumetrically accurate markings?

Having bought some for a picnic the other day, I can confirm that indeed they do, Eric. Though divided by an ocean, our nations are not so different.


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2 Responses to “Cups! Cups! Cups!”

  1. Tiki Says:

    As for the whole red solo cup thing they come in many colors. When I and my purchased them in my college years we would buy them in blue, clear, translucent neon green etc. The stores seemed to only stock a few colors at a time red being one of them. A truly terrible country western song “Red Solo Cup” came out in 2011 and killed it for any other color. They were popularized in teen movies in the late 2000’s. If you Google a classic American teen movie from the late 90’s there are several different colors used as well as beer bottles and beer cans. It appears that laws over the years showing underage drinking have become far stricter and they don’t show beer bottle or cans anymore. Solo cups usually red ones have become kind of a symbol of drinking alcohol in TV and films

  2. SoRefined Says:

    I don’t know specifically why they are red other than “both men and women will buy red stuff” but in my university days, they were the preferred booze vessel because they were opaque and thus the people in charge of the dorm I lived in could look the other way with regard to underage drinking, since you could only see the booze if you actually peered in. (To be fair, I went to an all women’s school with a very liberal policy re: alcohol.)

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