It seems no Ryerson student can deny the highly desired drink known as a “Billy”. This specialty is only offered at Ryerson, and is a unique combination of orange juice, beer, Canadian Club whiskey and a shot of amaretto.
Dubbed “The Flaming Engineer” on the receipt – by none other than Ryerson’s engineering students – it is actually the Radio and Television program that has popularized the drink.
“They don’t taste as alcoholic as they are. That’s probably the best thing about the Billy,” says Jorge “One Billy Wonder” Vasconez, a second-year RTA student. Vasconez has been named the One Billy Wonder because he had a memorable experience the first time he tried a Billy. He chugged it so fast because it tasted like juice and couldn’t even move off his chair when it was done.
The RTA and Engineering programs are known to be the loudest, most enthusiastic programs during Frosh week. As a result, many upper years in RTA began an unspoken tradition at the beginning of the school year by introducing the drink to first years during social events at the Ram.
“Honestly, I think it’s just that it has a lot of alcohol and it tastes good. Like a lot of things in RTA, ordering a Billy just caught on and I couldn’t really tell you how or why. It just did. In fact, some of my friends even make homemade Billies now,” says William Reid, a second-year RTA student.
Journalism students have also indulged in the Billy. Often, you will find a pile of journalism or RTA students at the back of the Ram enjoying the $6 drink. Just by word of mouth, the drink has become synonymous with a good time. It is journalism and RTA, however, which have made the Billy a staple on a night out at the Ram.
Ironically, it is the Billy that has perhaps brought the two programs together – which have had a historical “rivalry,” for as long as anyone can remember. Albeit a friendly rivalry, journalism and RTA students are more likely to socialize together at the Ram simply because they can all agree on one thing: the Billy is indisputably delicious.
“It just says Ryerson all over it. It tastes like home, and that’s what going to the Ram feels like,” says Jennifer Yoo, a second year journalism student.
Are you convinced? If you want to make sure the Billy stays a household name throughout campus, grab some friends and try it for yourself.