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Senate sours on lemonade as official state drink

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Lemonade will not be Arizona’s state drink. 

Senate President Karen Fann was dumbfounded.

A bill to dub lemonade the official state drink of Arizona, the brainchild of a Gilbert teenager in GOP Rep. Warren Petersen’s legislative district, was about to fail a vote in the state senate.

“Members, does anyone want to change their vote before I close the board? I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not,” the Prescott Republican asked her colleagues.

They were very serious.

The bill failed today on a 12-18 vote to lighthearted applause and laughter among senators. As for why, the explanations varied.

“A lot of, I guess, the ‘opposition’ was in support of margaritas,” said Senate Minority Leader Rick Gray, R-Sun City, a callback to attempts by some Democratic lawmakers to amend Petersen’s HB 2692 in honor of an alcoholic beverage.

Not exactly, said Minority Leader David Bradley, D-Tucson.

“I heard that rumor as well, but actually Sen. Gray brought up a good point about sugary drinks and its effects on people,” Bradley said. “If you take it seriously, and you should, water should be the choice.”

Gray did acknowledge that’s why he voted against the bill – he was one of five Republicans to do so.

“Sugar is as harmful as tobacco, and yet it’s flagrant in our society, flagrant in lemonade,” Gray said. “For me, it was just a health issue.

So which was it?

“I don’t have an answer that can explain why every person voted no. But upon reflection, I think maybe the silliness of it was part of it,” Bradley said.


  1. I think an other-centered approach would be received in a bipartisan fashion while recognizing our geographic history

    Watermelon Agua Fresca is a refreshing non-alcohol drink favored by our neighboring country Mexico.

  2. I like the suggestion made by djrryan. Actually I like that djrryan made a suggestion (personally I don’t like watermelon)! It’s a better idea than water. Water is the primary ingredient in any drink and fruit has sugar so you will not be able to avoid sugar.
    I was saddened to read a member referred to the bill as “silliness”, if the teen who made the suggestion should hear or read that comment I want that teen to know; it was not silly.
    What does seem silly to me is the idea that we shame sugar rather than teaching and practicing moderation. The official state drink should be interesting and reflective of our unique region.
    Again, nice thought djrryan, I hope it does not fall on deaf ears.

  3. Thank you ES. Another factoid about watermelon is the cardiovascular health benefits due to the amino acid citrulline which is a word derived from citrullus; the Latin word for Watermelon.

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