And because of that, this week on his podcast The Dale Jr. Download, he had a listener ask how he was going to let his driver, Noah Gragson, drink a White Claw after winning the Xfinity race at Martinsville last weekend (a fair question, indeed).
Dale Jr. says he didn’t used to drink beer when he was younger, either, so he’s gonna let it slide for now:
“I was the same way when I was his age, I hated beer. When I was that young, I didn’t like alcohol really that much.
I had to, when I was at parties and stuff, I was really, really particular. Like, I only want this one thing, so I kinda can’t be too critical of him.”
And of course, Dale Jr. was sponsored by Budweiser for many years during his racing career, which is what makes it even funnier that he didn’t like beer.
When he first signed the deal with them way back in the day, he had to go to a fancy dinner with the Busch family and his dad, the late, great Dale Earnhardt.
On the way there, it hit him that he was probably gonna have to get a beer with his meal:
“I remember, and y’all will laugh, man. So when we signed the Budweiser deal, right, I was not a beer drinker. At all. And we were goin’ to like, a big steakhouse in Charlotte with the Busch family and dad.
And I said to dad on the way there, I said, ‘Am I gonna have to drink a beer at this dinner?'”
Obviously, any other beverage option was completely out of the question:
“And he’s like, ‘You’re damn right you are.’
And he’s like, ‘Get you a Bud heavy, and you sit there and you drink that beer.’ And I was like, ‘Man, alright.’ And so I did. And over time, everybody used to say it’s an acquired taste, and that’s what it is.”
Dale’s sister, Kelley, was a guest on this episode, and they talked about all the stuff they used to drink back in the day, like Boone’s Farm and wine coolers.
But Dale says his favorite (and most dangerous) drink is called a “Jimmy Drop”:
“I’m gonna tell you right now, you know, I was sponsored by Mountain Dew a long time, right. But our family was even before that, was a Sun Drop family. We had Sun Drop, which if you don’t know what that is, it’s kind of a regional thing.
But it’s like a Mountain Dew, tastes like Mountain Dew, Mellow Yellow, it’s a yellow soda. That was regional to Salisbury, Kannapolis, so our family, way, way back when dad was young, they drank it forever.
And I used to mix it with Jim Beam, and we called them Jimmy Drops. And that was pretty good, but pretty rough on ya. I never mixed soda with vodka before… High Rock and Sun Drop is really good.”
High Rock is Dale Jr.’s new vodka brand, and as a Sun Drop addict myself, I think I’m gonna have to give that mix a try… the Cherry Lemon Sun Drop is the best, though, so I think I might have just found a new favorite drink.
Seriously, if I had to pick a dream collaboration outside of country music, it would be this:
Three things I can’t get enough of – @HighRockVodka, SunDrop, and now…