The Top Drink News of 2012 Slideshow

Thinkstock/ Chris Elwell

Everyone had an opinion on whether or not to drink milk this year. Don’t drink it. Do drink it. Drink a certain amount. Drink alternative, non-dairy milks! No really, you should drink milk. The real problem, however, is that the cost of milk is still rising — up to $6 per gallon. Still, as Dr. Ayoob told The Daily Meal, milk may be the most cost-effective, nutritional drink on the market. Too bad "Got Milk" was so 1990s, otherwise we’d say it should be the slogan of 2012.

12. Milk Is Still Healthy… Or Not (but Will Still Be Expensive)

Thinkstock/ Chris Elwell

Everyone had an opinion on whether or not to drink milk this year. Don’t drink it. Do drink it. Drink a certain amount. Drink alternative, non-dairy milks! No really, you should drink milk. The real problem, however, is that the cost of milk is still rising — up to $6 per gallon. Still, as Dr. Ayoob told The Daily Meal, milk may be the most cost-effective, nutritional drink on the market. Too bad "Got Milk" was so 1990s, otherwise we’d say it should be the slogan of 2012.

11. Sports Drinks Busted

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Those fancy Gatorades you’ve been buying over the years? Not worth it. Studies this year claimed that they were ineffective for regular folks; the electrolyte replacement spiel we’ve been told over and over again really only applies to Olympic athletes with more intensive workouts. And we found out that even they preferred chocolate milk to sports drinks. Add sports drinks to the list of beverages that may have reached the end of their timelines.

10. More Weird-Flavored Vodkas

This was the year of PB&J, Froot Loops, electricity-flavored vodkas, and more: every month, it seemed a weirder and weirder vodka came on the market. Click here to see the weirdest flavored vodkas that were born in 2012, arguably the year of insane vodkas.

9. Family Gets Rich on Coca-Cola?

In what might be the quirkiest drink news of the year, we applaud the family who claimed to have $130 million in stock of Coca-Cola — that they bought at a garage sale. Talk about some thrifty shopping! The late Tony Marohn bought an antique stock in a company, Palmer Union Oil Co., in 2008 for "a nominal amount"; once the family realized the stock traced back to Coca-Cola, they tried to cash in for their 1.8 million shares. Sadly, it didn’t pay off for the family; the court found the actual stock to be worth much less (about $12,000), which was the "final nail in the coffin" for the family’s attempt to get rich.

8. Coffee Gets More Hipster

We don’t just mean the new $7 cup of coffee at Starbucks. Cream and sugar were banned at coffee shops, hipsters were banned at coffee shops, strollers were banned at coffee shops, and civet and elephant dung-made coffee should have been banned. Still, despite all the craziness that surrounds America’s coffee culture, we still know that coffee can bring the ultimate happiness (science even confirms it!).

7. Tea Kicks Butt (and Prevents Disease)

Thank God for green tea and black tea. They may very well prevent all the diseases we get from drinking sugary drinks. Diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s tea can in fact prevent it all.

6. The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Shortage

You all really, really loved your pumpkin spice lattes this year. When word got out that Starbucks began to run out of the syrup for pumpkin spice lattes, the whole world panicked. (A sign of the end of times?) Good thing Pumpkin Spice Latte ice cream also hit shelves to keep the hungry crowds happy.

5. The Truth About Sugary Drinks

The research just kept piling up about the dangerous health effects of sugary drinks — which presumably prompted New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg to ban sugary drinks. Back in March, the Center for Science in the Public Interest linked a coloring agent found in the four best-selling cola sodas, 4-MI, to cancer. While Coca-Cola fought back and claimed its levels of 4-MI were totally safe for humans, the evidence launched more campaigns in the U.K. to ban the use of 4-MI in soda. And that wasn’t all: Studies linked soda to strokes in women, genetic obesity, premature births, and more. All those studies exposed a very dangerous truth about sugary drinks.

4. President Obama's Homebrew

If you weren’t convinced home-brewing was here to stay, President Obama solidified its cool status. After letting news of his home-brewing hobby slip, home-brewers across the nation began to petition the White House to release the recipes. And lo and behold, the White House released the recipes for the Honey Blonde and Porter to the delight of beer (presumably Democrat) nerds everywhere. While some may have not been so happy with Obama’s love of beer (like the guy who claimed Obama’s beer pit stop cost him $25,000), but beer lovers found their delight in craft beer validated by the POTUS himself.

3. Starbucks Supports Marriage Equality

While the war raged on this summer against Chick-fil-A for its stance against gay marriage, one set of consumers set out to support an establishment that supported marriage equality. Hence, the Starbucks Appreciation Day for Marriage Equality, spurred on by the endorsement from Starbucks. "Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples," wrote Kalen Holmes, the executive vice president of Partner Resources, in an email to business partners back in January 2012. Later that summer, Kristin Palladino, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Equally Wed, planned the day of support for Starbucks. "Let's affirm a business that operates on moral principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for human dignity and upstanding values, the same that we advocate by simply showing up, drinking and eating at Starbucks on Tuesday, August 7," she wrote in the invitation. Despite the religious right’s attack on Starbucks, it didn’t stop the company from supporting equality.

2. The Trouble with Energy Drinks

Once the FDA began to release its reports of serious health conditions related to the Monster and 5-Hour energy drinks including death reports the conversation grew serious over caffeine regulations in energy drinks. Most energy drinks are not required to list the amount of caffeine in the product on the ingredient label (not that it matters anyway, since studies showed that the caffeine levels were often inaccurately labeled). Still, it spurred the conversation toward a possible ban (in Suffolk County, N.Y.) and natural energy drinks.

1. The New York City Soda Ban

Should this really be any surprise that the soda ban is number one on our list? Despite strong opposition from the American Beverage Association and New Yorkers alike, Mayor Bloomberg and the Public Department of Health went ahead and banned large, sugary drinks in New York City. New Yorkers, get ready to say goodbye to your gigantic Cokes and Pepsis — the love affair is over. Soda lobby, we await your turn in 2013 to fight back.