The official drink of Ramapo College is here! Passion Tea Lemonade with Strawberry Açaí, with its bright red hue and sweet, citrusy flavor, captures the school’s color and makes the perfect drink to sip on as warm weather approaches.
The drink contest, hosted by Dining Services, was the brainchild of marketing specialist Angela Pegarella and retail manager Ana Santos. With the one-year anniversary of Common Grounds’ opening on Feb. 22, they wanted to celebrate it in a way that was fun and engaging for the campus community.
“Holding this drink contest gives Roadrunners an opportunity to be a part of the process and have an impact on Dining Services,” Pegarella said in an email. “It opens the door to collaborate in a creative and memorable way, further fostering community between Roadrunners and Dining Services.”
The contest occurred in three stages: the submission period from Feb. 6-16, the voting period from Feb. 17-19 and the sampling on Feb. 22.
Out of the 96 initial submissions, Pegarella, with the help of marketing interns Faith Chang and Faith Duncan, narrowed down the options to six before allowing the Ramapo community to vote for the final three contenders.
“It’s been interesting to see their perspective on how they encapsulate Ramapo College in a drink. Some submissions were based on school colors, some were a play on words based on the name of the college, and some were based on defining attributes of the college, such as the Ramahog or Rocky,” Pegarella said.
With a table set up near Common Grounds, Pegarella and Chang handed out samples of the three drink finalists: Nutella Cold Brew, Passion Tea Lemonade with Strawberry Açaí and Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with Chocolate Chips Blended and Strawberry Purée. Roadrunners flocked to the table as they passed by and were invited to submit their final vote.
“It opens the door to collaborate in a creative and memorable way, further fostering community between Roadrunners and Dining Services”
– Angela Pegarella
Because I’m not a fan of coffee, the flavor of the Nutella Cold Brew came off too strong for my taste, but it did pair nicely with the chocolate and nutty undertones. It ultimately came in third place with 49 votes.
The Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with Chocolate Chips Blended and Strawberry Purée was more my speed. I liked the presentation with the strawberry puree lining the sides of the cup, but the flavors were bland and the blended chocolate chips gave it a strange texture. This drink received 63 votes.
The Passion Tea Lemonade with Strawberry Açaí was my personal favorite. The red color immediately caught my eye, and the flavors did not disappoint. As soon as I finished my sample, I was already craving more. The acidity from the lemonade complements the sugary sweetness and the fruity flavor.
Pegarella and Chang said during the tabling, they heard repeatedly that the drink reminded voters of spring and summer. It seems that I was not alone in loving this drink. With a whopping 74 votes, we had a winner!
Sophomore Avery Cangro was the mastermind behind the drink. She got to pose with her creation in front of Common Grounds last Thursday, the day the winning drink was announced and available to order for the first time.
“I came up with this drink submission with the help of one of my peer facilitators Emily Thomas. She was a student staff working at the Common Grounds and recommended getting this drink,” Cangro said in an email. “I am a nursing major, so I am in the library every day studying, and this drink is just a really nice pick me up.”
While the drink will be a permanent addition to the Common Grounds menu, the other two finalists can also be ordered, but simply won’t have a fancy name to go with it. Dining Services plans to announce the official name of the winning drink soon.
It’s safe to say that Dining Services’ first contest was a success. Pegarella shared that Dining Services hopes to run more custom drink contests in the future, too.
Don’t wait to visit Common Grounds and represent Ramapo while trying Passion Tea Lemonade with Strawberry Açaí! It will certainly be my drink of choice for the rest of the semester.
Featured photo submitted by Angela Pegarella