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It Gets You Very Drunk Very Quick
October 26, 2010 6:47 PM   Subscribe

Four is a premium alcoholic beverage that features 12% alcohol and a serious (but undisclosed) dose of caffeine. While the original "energy beer" dropped the caffeine from their formula in 2008, Four Loko has become a hit on college campuses. Now, nine students were sent to the hospital after a party at Central Washington University where the "black out in a can" was on hand. The FDA is mulling a general ban.
posted by chrchr (144 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
You will pry my red bull and vodka from my cold dead fingers.
posted by empath at 6:49 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Energy beer" makes about as much sense as "relaxing meth".
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:50 PM on October 26, 2010 [15 favorites]


Four → on the floor?
posted by Rhaomi at 6:51 PM on October 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


Shit. I had never heard of this stuff until last weekend when one of my wife's old trainhopping buddies came through town. He would drink a 40 oz down enough and then pour the Four Loko in, making a "Sidewalk Slammer."

I had a sip of the Loko - DISGUSTING.

All I could think of was Brawndo, because it has what plants crave!
posted by battleshipkropotkin at 6:51 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pussies.
posted by i_cola at 6:53 PM on October 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Are you sure it's anything whatsoever to do with the caffeine and not, ya know, kids slamming 12% ABV carbonated bevs 23.5 oz at a time?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:54 PM on October 26, 2010 [25 favorites]


"Our products contain less alcohol than an average rum and cola, less alcohol and caffeine than an average Red Bull and vodka...

How can that possibly be true? They're 12% alcohol and sold in tall boys. Maybe this person meant "by volume"? In that case, a keg of beer actually has less alcohol than an average gin and tonic.
posted by Doug at 6:56 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had a sip of the Loko - DISGUSTING.

I don't think anyone has ever grabbed a blackout in a can thinking: "Hey, I imagine this will just dance on my palette."
posted by clearly at 6:58 PM on October 26, 2010 [39 favorites]


College kids will get wasted on anything available, which explains the amount of Krystone Lite that I was offered at parties. A pack of High Life is only a couple dollars more! Bunch of savages those kids were.
posted by boubelium at 7:00 PM on October 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


I've consumed more alcohol than that in a very short period (thanks for the memories or lack thereof, ice luge, beer bong, and case race!) and never come close to needing or I feeling like I needed medical attention. My guess is that the college kids in question were inexperienced drinkers and didn't know how to respond to being drunk or were scared by the caffeine twitches (though at the equivalent of one cup of coffee?).

The usual mountain out of a molehill and/or hysteria aided by verbal-diarrheic student(s).
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:01 PM on October 26, 2010


How can that possibly be true?

You mean to say that you don't drink stiff cocktails out of plastic tumblers?
posted by clearly at 7:01 PM on October 26, 2010


I used to have to wash down dexedrine tabs with cheap beer back in the day. These kids have it easy.
posted by dortmunder at 7:03 PM on October 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


My buddy had a 'Sidewalk Slammer' party at his place over the summer.

Man, what a disaster.

The next morning, he woke up on his front lawn to find the door open. Someone had walked into his house, stolen his xbox, tv, and a carton of cigarettes. He told me this two days later, still hung-over.

This friend is that friend that drinks harder than you. You show up to a party, and he's been drinking for four hours, and he out drinks every else there. You ride your bike down the street at five, and he raises his beer to you.

Steam engines are to John Henry what Four Locos are to Drunks.

You might beat them, but you'll probably want to die somewhere in the process.
posted by justalisteningman at 7:03 PM on October 26, 2010 [29 favorites]


Meh. Mix it in a trash can. Where's the DIY spirit these days?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:03 PM on October 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


You don't want to be a high strung caffeine+booze user like this guy.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:06 PM on October 26, 2010


When the guy who sat two seats from me on Stats drank an entire case of Busch Lt for his 21st, walked down I-90 and littered the road side with his innards, I don't recall the FDA mulling over the possibility of banning Anheiser's shitswill... Nor the 18 wheelers delivering it.

I recall phrases like "personal responsibility" and "don't hang out with fuckpuddle dipshits" being thrown around.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 7:07 PM on October 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


I should also mention that Four Loko and Joose (do not click on it. Same as Four Loko. Website has horrible flash and music.) are the new drink of choice among the street kids in Atlanta.
posted by dortmunder at 7:07 PM on October 26, 2010


I don't get it, what's the point of the caffeine if people can still drink themselves into near alcohol poisoning? Was that supposed to keep you from passing out?
posted by mathowie at 7:11 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just another moral panic.

This is kinda gross to be sure but the dangers (compared to a baseline of drinking other stuff) are being grossly exaggerated.
posted by grobstein at 7:15 PM on October 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


One of the links contains a video that lists "students having unwanted sex" as one of the side effects of Four Loko. Whether this is the world's worst euphemism for rape or just a bizarre way of describing standard inhibition loosening, it's not really something you need caffeine for.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:16 PM on October 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


Want to reduce college binge drinking? Lower the drinking age back to 18, allow beer and wine in the campus cafeterias, and re-open the campus ratskellers.
posted by fings at 7:18 PM on October 26, 2010 [48 favorites]


Usually, after work, I'll buy a can of FourLoko or Joose at 7-11 and pour it in a Big Gulp cup for the subway ride home, thus eluding the 'open container laws.' It's not Macallan 18 or La Fin Du Monde or anything but it's alright for a quick brain-numbing. Also, I've never felt the caffeine.
posted by jonmc at 7:18 PM on October 26, 2010 [10 favorites]


My guess is that the college kids in question were inexperienced drinkers and didn't know how to respond to being drunk or were scared by the caffeine twitches (though at the equivalent of one cup of coffee?).

As a college student at a huge drinking campus, I can confirm that Four Loko will mess you up. I don't touch the stuff, but I've know lots of very alcohol-tolerant people who have had pretty bad experiences.

In fact, it's probably bad to bring it more publicity - there are people who see cheap "blackout in a can" as a selling point.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:19 PM on October 26, 2010


I'm not ok with that, johnmc.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 7:20 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not ok with that, johnmc.

Well, there goes my night's sleep.
posted by jonmc at 7:21 PM on October 26, 2010 [43 favorites]


Does it make me a bad person that I would love to have some of this right about now?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 7:22 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I drank this crap recently. As a laugh my friends and I had a "Four Loko tasting" a few weeks ago. We got all the different flavors, poured it into wine glasses, all very formal. I was drunk before I was done with my first cup, and I had the worst (and weirdest) hangover I've had in a while the next day. Ban it, the stuff is the devil.
posted by kryptondog at 7:23 PM on October 26, 2010


The bar for a "premium" beverage seems rather low.
posted by twjordan at 7:24 PM on October 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Every two years, I buy the cheapest, most horrible booze the liquor store sells and drink it while watching the election returns. I think I may have just discovered my new election night beverage.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:30 PM on October 26, 2010 [14 favorites]


I kind of like the stuff, but then, I'm a big fan of wacky novelty. It's like the alcoholic equivalent of the Monster Mash.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:31 PM on October 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


My first thought about this stuff was "I gotta try it!". 'course that was my first thought about the 27" gummi worm.

Jonmc, I am totally ok with that. Let me know if you hit the SF muni.
posted by poe at 7:31 PM on October 26, 2010


It's like the alcoholic equivalent of the Monster Mash.

Unless it's the grape flavor, then it's the Purple People Eater.
posted by jonmc at 7:33 PM on October 26, 2010


Drinking a Troegs Mad Elf, 11% ABV from a 22oz bottle, here. Well, from glasses, but it was sold in a 22oz bottle. This is a premium beer, that is teenager alco-crap.

No offense to jonmc.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:33 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I bet this doesn't taste at all delicious like Surly Coffee Bender does. A beer which, for what it's worth, I feel like I wouldn't have been able to choke down until I was probably 30 or so, because my palate wasn't refined enough.
posted by padraigin at 7:34 PM on October 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


Joose is not too bad with a little boubon in it. I'm not too sure if it's the caffeine that's the problem - I would think it's the sugar. You'll get just as much assbaggery from a whisky drunk as you will from a "Jooser."
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:36 PM on October 26, 2010


I guess i'm not so far out of college that I read this and instantly took it as a challenge.
posted by codacorolla at 7:36 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


paisley, my friend, you could make the argument that the strong beers like La Fin Du Monde etc are merely expensive yuppie malt liquors. I wouldn't say that, but you see where I'm going. But just like a truly great palate can appeciate both kobe steak and a white castle slider, appreciating bot highend and lowend booze is the sign of a well rounded individual.
posted by jonmc at 7:38 PM on October 26, 2010 [20 favorites]


Joose is not too bad with a little boubon in it. I'm not too sure if it's the caffeine that's the problem - I would think it's the sugar.

I actually had the Raspberry Lemonade Joose on the ride home tonight. It really didn't taste all that bad. Kind of like spiked snapple.
posted by jonmc at 7:39 PM on October 26, 2010


If you're interested in alcoholic beverages with a lil' something extra in 'em, you might also want to check out this coca leaf liqueur.

Don't get too excited, though. The cocaine alkaloids have been removed.
posted by chrchr at 7:43 PM on October 26, 2010


I have an empty can of Four Loko (Watermelon) on my desk. It wasn't particularly great, but it wasn't *bad* either. Good for when you want a buzz, but don't want beer, Boones, or MD 20/20.

I'm going to blame the kids' blacking out on the amount they were drinking, how fast they were drinking it, and what they were mixing in their drinks, not one particular brand of alcohol delivery system.

These alcohol/caffeine mixes are just the newest trendy beverages on the block, and therefore easy targets for legislators.
posted by mrbill at 7:44 PM on October 26, 2010


jonmc writes "I'll buy a can of FourLoko or Joose at 7-11 and pour it in a Big Gulp cup for the subway ride home, thus eluding the 'open container laws.' It's not Macallan 18 or La Fin Du Monde or anything but it's alright for a quick brain-numbing. Also, I've never felt the caffeine."

jonmc if you can't feel the stimulant why not drink something without it?
posted by Mitheral at 7:47 PM on October 26, 2010


Whatever happend to opening a 2-liter bottle of orange Cisco and enjoying an afternoon commiserating with your contemporaries in the park? Sheesh, these kids.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:47 PM on October 26, 2010


I'll take caffeinated booze only if I'm at the beginning of a night out and I'm dragging. Otherwise, it just keeps me up and keeps me drinking, and that rarely ends well.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:49 PM on October 26, 2010


jonmc if you can't feel the stimulant why not drink something without it?

Like I said, it was high alcohol content and could be easily camoflauged in my clear plastic cup. Also, a lot of you who are around my age (soon to be 40) probably drank plent of cheap beer/malt liquor and schnapps in your youth, so this really isnt a new phenomemon.
posted by jonmc at 7:52 PM on October 26, 2010


Red Bull and vodka should be banned. It is a crime against spirits. The only reason to drink it is so that you can drink more which is never a good proposition.
posted by humanfont at 7:53 PM on October 26, 2010


Ha, mrbill, I've had the watermelon flavor too. Tastes like melted jolly ranchers, with the consistency of nyquil. I usually buy decent tasting stuff, but if its free, I'm game.
posted by shinyshiny at 7:53 PM on October 26, 2010


Part of me wants to try this.

The rest of me is planning an intervention.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:55 PM on October 26, 2010 [10 favorites]


Oh gods. Orange Cisco. It tastes like those chewable asprins that were way too tasty.

Wrong on multiple levels.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:56 PM on October 26, 2010


No joke, my office had Four Loko Friday this past Friday. It was being consumed from martini glasses. And that's about all I'm comfortable sharing.
posted by ryoshu at 7:57 PM on October 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


Shit, now I want some Westmalle and a sack of White Castles.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:00 PM on October 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've been pouring this stuff on my Cap'n Crunch every morning for the past like 18 months.

Tell it to NPR ya librul pussehs.

Advantage : Cardgage.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:00 PM on October 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm not ok with that, johnmc.

Well, there goes my night's sleep.
posted by jonmc at 7:21 PM on 10/26
[+] [!]

sorry, I misread your first post as "subway drive" home. My apologies.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 8:02 PM on October 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


Ok, forgiven. I was wondering why you were so upset about me getting drunk and riding the train.
posted by jonmc at 8:03 PM on October 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


my office had Four Loko Friday this past Friday

Best antidote to cure the kids from drinking this crap is to have the squares embrace it. That being said, I'm going to saunter on down to my local liquor-store/money-laundry operation tomorrow to see if they could be arsed to stock it and try out a flavor or two.

In regards to responsibility, I have to look back to a recent photo showing two juice coolers in a store stocked completely with energy drinks. The energy drink companies are responding to the market and the Loko people are just taking it to the next obvious step. Humans seeking a sub-$5 buzz aren't that complex.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:04 PM on October 26, 2010


I have to look back to a recent photo showing two juice coolers in a store stocked completely with energy drinks.

This photo of a grocer around the block from me should give you a chuckle.
posted by jonmc at 8:07 PM on October 26, 2010


Major league pisshead here. The only thing I have scary problems with is if I do shots containing black sambuca. Walking around, talking, doing stuff for 4 hours with absolutely no memory. Thankfully only ~~6 times in 15 years, just long enough apart for me to neglect to consider the last experience.

Not the sort of hazy flashbacks you get with a big night on the beer. Just a scary void.

Glad I'm getting too old to try all this new fangled shit. Caffeine = upper. Alcohol = downer. That doesn't look to clever on paper.

nb: I was taught alcohol has a very slight upper phase before it becomes a downer as the BAC increases. That's what makes it an extra dangerous drug.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:14 PM on October 26, 2010


At least they know their clientele. I've never understood the subway/bus drinker though. I usually hold getting my drink-on until I'm back in the neighborhood, although a Dunkin Donuts cup holds a can of Guinness rather nicely.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:17 PM on October 26, 2010


My understanding is that caffeine and other stimulants mask some of the more noticeable effects of alcohol, making the drinker underestimate their consumption.

We call it "bad decision juice" around here.

Personally, I'd recommend adderall and daiquiris. YMMV.
posted by smammy at 8:25 PM on October 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


If you're interested in alcoholic beverages with a lil' something extra in 'em, you might also want to check out this coca leaf liqueur.

I actually had coca leaf liqueur over this past weekend. Not that same brand.... It tingled interestingly on the tongue, had a flavor unlike anything I've ever had before, and seemed to lighten up the evening for all who had some. I suspect this particular brand didn't have all the coca magic removed from it -- it was too obviously not just an alcohol buzz we all had.

Interesting stuff. I'd have it again.

I never touch FourLoco. That's pure poison.
posted by hippybear at 8:25 PM on October 26, 2010


If you do a common thing and something bad happens, people call it fate, luck, or just another Friday night. If you do an uncommon thing and something bad happens, it's legislation time.

Innovation is going to die a heat death some time around 2030, at which point new ideas will be made illegal by UN mandate.
posted by quillbreaker at 8:28 PM on October 26, 2010 [8 favorites]


Four is a premium alcoholic beverage
Yes, it is... for very small values of "premium."
posted by sanko at 8:29 PM on October 26, 2010


Four Loko, which combines as much alcohol as a six-pack of beer

And given how much alcohol each can contains -- around 12 percent, equal to four beers

what kind of weak-assed beer do these people drink, anyway?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:29 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't quite get it. There's nothing magical about that combination -- just that the caffeine offsets the sleepy effect of the alcohol, enabling you to drink more. I can see how that could get you into trouble, but you could get into the same trouble by drinking coffee to keep on going. It just sounds like kind of a soft-drinky version of a red bull and vodka.
posted by treepour at 8:33 PM on October 26, 2010


pyramid termite: what kind of weak-assed beer do these people drink, anyway?

I think the cans are extra big, too. So it might work out to four normal-sized beers.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:35 PM on October 26, 2010


Liquers with high alcohol content like Sambuca or schnapps like the hated Rumple Minze have a high sugar content making a combination that propels the drinker into a stupor that inhibits the formation of short term memories while keeping them functional, hence losing an entire evening while still remembering a recipe you wrote down the morning before. Or at least that was my experience with it.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:35 PM on October 26, 2010


I've never been a fan of the caffeine/alcohol combo, even when I was in college, but proposing a ban is just typical reactionary silliness. On the other hand, those drinks mimicking codeine cough syrup are kind of shady. Especially when they blatantly copy a style used by a certain syrup-sipping hip-hop artist who may have died due to abuse of it.
posted by palidor at 8:36 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have no problem with alcohol and caffeine together. In fact, I demand it. I used to have a hell of a black coffee and vodka habit to the tune of a couple of pots and a handle over a long night, which when combined with plenty of water is a pleasant buzz with very limited hangover.

What I can't handle is slurping down sticky, sugary crap that tastes like a living Flintstone Chewable Vitamin forcibly facefucked me and came down my throat and all I had for a chaser was a bottle of cough syrup.

And all that that sugar does is give you a killer hangover.

No, I don't care that there's sugar free Red Bull. Eww. That tastes even worse, and that's an accomplishment.
posted by loquacious at 8:49 PM on October 26, 2010 [13 favorites]


Somewhere deep in the reptilian part of my brain I get a kick out of picturing jonmc piloting a subway train while sipping on a caffeine-infused alcoholic beverage disguised in a 7-11 cup. Meanwhile the passengers are screaming and crying and begging him to put down the Big Gulp!!......
posted by mannequito at 8:50 PM on October 26, 2010 [11 favorites]


I wish we could create a poll in this thread with the following options:

A: This is horrible! Idiots are hurting themselves / It's a crime against alcohol! We need to ban it, now!
B: All this has made me do is want to try it myself! I'm curious, dammit!

I vote B.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:55 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


pyramid termite: what kind of weak-assed beer do these people drink, anyway?

Bug light is 4,.2% ABV and usually comes by the 12oz. That new 64cal or whatever beer is even less abv.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:56 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


**Bud Light.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:56 PM on October 26, 2010


Oh these kids today, with all their fancy drinks. My dad thought Jack and Coke was something you saved for special occasions (the rest of the time was Miller Time).

Being old and not much of a frequent drinker, I was taken aback at just how drunk one can get on these newfangled high-alcohol brews, some of which are very tasty.

Having said that, I'd really like to apologize for telling the percussionist in the band that night that I was very impressed with the size of his rain stick. Three times.
posted by emjaybee at 8:56 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


i have a buddy who is a contractor that drinks a four loko with just about every meal. that meal is usually burgerville or wendy's, often followed by donuts or ice cream and coffee. and weed. and maybe another four loko. inexplicably he has a herculean body. and inexplicably his work is awesome.

his basketball skills are up there too.
posted by rainperimeter at 8:58 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can't believe this thread has yet to mention the Four Loko rap song. At a recent loft party, all the kids went nuts when the dj played the song.
posted by stachemaster at 9:00 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


You will pry my red bull and vodka from my cold dead fingers.
posted by empath at 8:49 PM on October 26


Well, that does seem like a potentially logical course of events, but I hope not...

Obligatory Crunk Juice reference...
posted by nanojath at 9:04 PM on October 26, 2010


Mixing uppers and downers is so '00s.
posted by fuq at 9:08 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, Four Loko is a poor rendition of Sparx (official drink of my band in college), but anyways, I think we're all familiar with this story: it's easier to pass silly laws than it is to fix problems.
posted by tmcw at 9:10 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Back around 2003ish when I was living in Seattle, Sparks was all the rage within my circle of friends. Stuff gets you drunk, but you don't notice for a long time because you're too busy bouncing off the walls."
posted by zardoz at 9:10 PM on October 26, 2010


Oh Central, I wish this surprised me. :(
posted by Neofelis at 9:13 PM on October 26, 2010


Red Bull and vodka should be banned.

Agreed!

...oh, you mean Red Bull and vodka together.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:21 PM on October 26, 2010


Damn, stachemaster beat me to it.

Meh. It's sweet booze in a can with caffeine. Not new.
posted by schyler523 at 9:32 PM on October 26, 2010


University officials said that the students’ blood-alcohol content ranged from 0.12 to 0.35.

The legal blood-alcohol content limit to drive is 0.08. A measurement over 0.30 can be fatal.

A tall can of Four Loko holds 23.5 ounces, with an alcohol content of 12%. Drinking one can is comparable to drinking five to six beers and several shots of espresso. A can costs around $2.50.


While caffeine does not alter the effects of alcohol on the body, the presence of both substances affects the absorption and metabolism functions of the body, leading to higher levels of caffeine in the blood stream and longer lasting effects of caffeine on the central nervous system.
posted by nickyskye at 9:34 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


On not preview: tmcw and zardoz beat me to Sparks too. Shit. I was too busy drinking sweet iced booze drinks at Trops to pay much attention. Yum, everclear and lemonade frozen...

I might be desensitized to this stuff since I live in a college town and crazy trendy alcohol stuff is a dime a dozen here.
posted by schyler523 at 9:36 PM on October 26, 2010


nickyskye: University officials said that the students’ blood-alcohol content ranged from 0.12 to 0.35.

That's a pretty good range. It pretty much spans the range from false alarm to the brink of death (assuming the drinker wasn't a hardcore alcoholic.)
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:37 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw this on the news this morning. I was like, oh god look at these dipshits. This is being overblown. People with no clue how to drink, drinking shitloads, and then going to the hospital. This is not a new story. Just a different drink. This can be done with whiskey, vodka, whatever, and it'll taste better too.

So my advice, you know, for the kids, pass up the Four Loko and put yourself in the hospital with traditional beer, wine, or spirits.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:58 PM on October 26, 2010


Bug light is 4,.2% ABV and usually comes by the 12oz.

**Bud Light.


I also wanted to point out that this is pretty much the most appropriate typo I have ever seen.
posted by IvoShandor at 10:01 PM on October 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


I saw this on the news this morning. I was like, oh god look at these dipshits. This is being overblown. People with no clue how to drink, drinking shitloads, and then going to the hospital. This is not a new story. Just a different drink. This can be done with whiskey, vodka, whatever, and it'll taste better too.

I certainly don't think it should be outlawed, but it's not just that: you've got strong alcohol + stimulants in a form that's cheaper, more convenient, and marked more heavily than drinks made with red bull.

It doesn't take a math whiz to see that that combination is designed to lead to bad things, much moreso than normal alcohol.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:22 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've always had an extreme distaste for both overly sweet drinks and caffeine. Perhaps some of that stems from my college years (and later), having had friends with access to pretty good cocaine and a corner store with okay wine and great beer at pretty good prices. Not to be all uppity, but that Four Loko shit sounds totally fucking nasty. It's depressing that their marketing has been so effective.

Also, since many posts in this thread lean toward the confessionary , and also as a friendly helpful hint; benzos are the magic bullet for a hangover, before and/or after the fact.
posted by theperfectcrime at 10:32 PM on October 26, 2010


eponysterical.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:36 PM on October 26, 2010


I guess i'm not so far out of college that I read this and instantly took it as a challenge.

This!
posted by ke rose ne at 10:36 PM on October 26, 2010


Maybe not a .35 BAC Four Loko hangover, however. Goddamn.
posted by theperfectcrime at 10:37 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sparks is an energy drink with alcohol added, whereas FourLoco et al. are alcoholic beverages with caffeine added. This is an extremely significant difference and worthy of legislation.
posted by marakesh at 10:39 PM on October 26, 2010


jonmc, I used to do the same thing with black coffee & Jack Daniels (I kept a small flask in my bag for the commute home). I like riding the train with my two best friends, Jack & Joe.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:40 PM on October 26, 2010


All I will say further is that the combination of a very high (for an ostensibly malt beverage... ?... is that what this is classified as?) alcohol content, multidrug delivery vehicle, and the soda-poppy, cartoonish can design makes me ick in a major way. Kids...
posted by nanojath at 10:51 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Last summer I worked in a restaurant whose owners provided Four Loko with some of their startup capital. As such, we always had some Loko in the back of the walk-in fridge, but to actually drink it was considered an act of desperation.

My old bosses are opening a new restaurant that, I think, is funded entirely by the profits from Four Loko.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:56 PM on October 26, 2010


I refer to all of the caffeinated alco-pops as 'fight fuel'. I've seen many of my friends, jovial and kindly drunks to the end, have singular nights of absolute belligerent douchebaggery when trying out Joose or the like. I'm generally not one to blame substances for one's behavioral issues, but something about that garbage definitely seems to fuck people sideways in completely unexpected, and unpleasant, fashions.

Of course, champagne does the same thing to me, and that's why I don't touch the stuff now.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:04 PM on October 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sparks is an energy drink with alcohol added, whereas FourLoco et al. are alcoholic beverages with caffeine added. This is an extremely significant difference and worthy of legislation.

How so? Should we also ban Jack and Coke, or Rum and Coke? Irish coffee? Maybe just ban those drinks if they're made with Jolt, huh?

It doesn't take a math whiz to see that that combination is designed to lead to bad things, much moreso than normal alcohol.

I get ya, but let's face it, this is about people not knowing what the hell they're doing. Everytime one of these stories comes up there is a bunch of hand-waving about binge drinking and the culture on college campuses and ultimately it happens again. I don't think it has anything to do with the drink being "designed to lead to bad things", which kind of assumes a level of malfeasance on the part of the makers of Four Loko that I don't think is real.
posted by IvoShandor at 11:10 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


DUDES THIS IS SO FUCKING EXTREEEM!™ WHEN I'M BEATING OFF TO MMA ON MY 72" PLASMA AND PLAYIN' POKER WITH MY BROS, I LIKE TO DOWN A TWELVER OF THESE BITCHEZ.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:37 PM on October 26, 2010


For my freshman year of college in the 90's our poison was hip-flask sized bottles of pre-mixed kamikazes.

The brand name was "Kamikaze."

Sometimes I picture the C.E.O. of whatever bottler who made that shit lighting a fat cigar with a flaming 100 bill and thinking to himself, "Enjoy your trip to the ER to get your stomachs pumped, college fuckers."
posted by bardic at 11:47 PM on October 26, 2010


Ridiculous. People routinely drink higher ABV drinks like Vodka, and there's no caffeine anymore. So what is this, the placebo effect brought on by the 'extreme' marketing?
posted by delmoi at 12:05 AM on October 27, 2010


Here's how it's been done for generations, Danish fisherman style: I present to you the kaffesort (coffee-black):
  • Pour coffee into a cup containing a small coin, filling it halfway.
  • Pour akvavit into the cup until you can see the coin.
  • Pour more coffee until the coin just disappears from sight.
(Traditionally enjoyed with bakskuld.)

Also:

> "A measurement over 0.30 can be fatal."

Well, then don't measure your BAC. Duh.
posted by brokkr at 12:48 AM on October 27, 2010 [15 favorites]


This sort of drink is for silly people who don't know how to drink, and aren't fully weaned yet.
posted by Decani at 2:38 AM on October 27, 2010


Here's how it's been done for generations, Danish fisherman style: I present to you the kaffesort (coffee-black):
Pour coffee into a cup containing a small coin, filling it halfway.
Pour akvavit into the cup until you can see the coin.
Pour more coffee until the coin just disappears from sight.


Step 4: Choke on coin
posted by idiomatika at 3:57 AM on October 27, 2010 [10 favorites]


Sort of like Buckfast, only not made by monks.
posted by klausness at 4:17 AM on October 27, 2010


Used to get the same buzz drinking Stoli and blowin' lines. Tasted better too...
posted by sundrop at 4:38 AM on October 27, 2010


Sparks is an energy drink with alcohol added, whereas FourLoco et al. are alcoholic beverages with caffeine added. This is an extremely significant difference and worthy of legislation.

I'm not sure I understand the meaningful difference.
posted by josher71 at 6:01 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I once drank a pint of Allens Coffee Brandy with three Ambien. Three days later I found myself walking North along Route 1 in my underwear, and discovered I'd been elected Governor of Maine.
posted by rusty at 6:02 AM on October 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


You mean y'all don't manage your caffeine intake on an ungoing basis?!
posted by Goofyy at 6:09 AM on October 27, 2010


I've got a friend who will drink anything that comes in a big can and will get him hammered. I'm not sure he's moved on from Joose to Loko yet, but he will, soon enough.

I will say, though, that the booze and caffeine combination, in moderation, is a good way to keep a night going (although sometimes it makes certain superheroes think they should slide down a subway railing and then you have to refuse an ambulance and try to keep their blood off of all the good people of Brooklyn).
posted by uncleozzy at 6:29 AM on October 27, 2010


My best friend had cancer this summer. Yesterday, I took her to the Cleveland Clinic for some follow up post-surgical stuff. We're sitting in the waiting room watching CNN behind these older women, and a story about this stuff comes on. You have never heard funnier comments in your life. They were COMPLETELY baffled as to how alcohol could have "energy" in it, totally unsure where or when would be appropriate to drink such a thing...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:42 AM on October 27, 2010


This is an extremely significant difference and worthy of legislation.

Good luck figuring out how to write that difference into legislation.
posted by smackfu at 6:46 AM on October 27, 2010


Sparks is an energy drink with alcohol added, whereas FourLoco et al. are alcoholic beverages with caffeine added. This is an extremely significant difference and worthy of legislation.

I'm not sure I understand the meaningful difference.



I think this was a joke.
posted by grobstein at 7:08 AM on October 27, 2010


Am I the only one here that drinks Irish Coffee? At least, used to. Until that time in Coney Island with the cab driver.

And jonmc, my favorite drink for the ride home:

20 ounce diet coke. Drink half. Fill back up with vodka. The color is close enough to the original that you can't tell the difference from a distance. From 53 & Lex to Ditmas Ave. and McDonald on the F train becomes a rather enjoyable trip. People watching with The Pork Dukes blasting on the Nano.
posted by Splunge at 7:10 AM on October 27, 2010


A few days ago I was sitting at a bar having a couple of beers. I notice that the bartender has set up six pint glasses in a row, and is mixing some sort of concoction in them that involved Red Bull and at least three different liquors. I asked, "What the hell is that?" And without missing a beat or even looking up from what she was creating, she said: "This is what stupid people drink."
posted by spilon at 7:18 AM on October 27, 2010 [19 favorites]


I guess i'm not so far out of college that I read this and instantly took it as a challenge.

Four Loko CENTURY CLUB.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:30 AM on October 27, 2010


idiomatika: "Step 4: Choke on coin"

You use small coins to mitigate this risk (and make mistakes cheaper). At any rate, you're more likely to be killed by the accompanying fish.
posted by brokkr at 7:55 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Step 4: Choke on coin"

If you survive all the way down to the coin, nothing can kill you!

I kid. Of course, the secret is that the akvavit dissolves the coin long before it could choke you.
posted by rusty at 8:15 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


So I had never heard of Four Loko until this weekend. We took a trip to the Oregon coast with some friends, and one of the guys mentioned this drink. He and my husband decided to try it, and a couple. My husband has the constitution of an ox and I have never, ever seen anything take him down like this swill did. I mean, the entire weekend was shot for him. Legislation has indeed been passed at my house banning Four Loko and any related substances. Not that he's itching to try it again, but I figured I should pass that law just in case his judgment fails him a second time.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 8:26 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


**and had a couple
posted by DrGirlfriend at 8:27 AM on October 27, 2010


Four Loko isn't as good as Sparks, because Four Loko isn't as satisfying to say in a Boston accent.

"SPAHKS! Hey Jimmy, they got SPAHKS heah! Yeah, I'll have a can a' SPAAAHHHKS. Gonna get RETAHHDED on SPAAAAAHHHHKS"
posted by Greg Nog at 8:52 AM on October 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


He and my husband decided to try it, and a couple.

Now I may have to try this. And that as well.
posted by Splunge at 9:02 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


The most fun I've ever had when watching live music was after downing a Sparks. Or something we called Jay Juice -- a red bull and Canadian Whisky. Ahh Seattle how I miss you.
posted by hanoixan at 9:15 AM on October 27, 2010


Mixing caffeine and alcohol is the undergrad speedball, yes. It is well on its way to being made illegal to serve in drinking establishments, and has for years. This latest children's beverage is merely another nail in that coffin.

It seems primarily to be for people who can't actually stand the taste of liquor, but need powerful social lubricant so they can feel free to shout at each other in dim, loud places and then rut like amateurs.

I'm sorry if that hurt anyone's feelings, but I calls them the way I see them. I have had plenty of subjects to observe over the years here in ${SMALL_UNIVERSITY_TOWN}

Please, drink your vodka like a man the way my grandmother did: ice cold and straight up. Or mix a fucking proper cocktail like an adult. Or, here's an idea: don't drink at all if you don't like the taste. Real liquor is an acquired taste, but no one has to acquire it if they don't want to.
posted by clvrmnky at 9:39 AM on October 27, 2010


I'm waiting for the overly-complex espresso crowd to get in on this and make some sort of new version of the irish coffee. Actually, they probably have. I don't spend much time in bars.

Granted, I don't always need alcohol to be messed up. Right now a combination of a cold and DayQuil has me all kinds of loopy. It's like the year I made it through my college exams on large quantities of antihistamines and caffeine and walked past the partying seniors who'd finished their theses. And I realized that, despite their hard partying ways, I was in a much farther altered state than any of them and wasn't having any fun at all. Didn't seem fair, you know?
posted by Karmakaze at 9:50 AM on October 27, 2010


undergrad speedball

Hey, we've got a new top contender for the brand name of the next huge blackout in a can.
posted by nanojath at 10:14 AM on October 27, 2010




Like someone mentioned upthread, caffeine and alcohol has been around for a long time, even in socially acceptable ways (Irish coffee, [Any liqour + Cola], White Russians, Vodka +Red Bulls, etc.). I guess the difference is that this is clearly being marketed to a younger crowd even if the results are similar.

Meh. Drunks gonna drink.
posted by schyler523 at 10:27 AM on October 27, 2010


Please, drink your vodka like a man the way my grandmother did: ice cold and straight up. Or mix a fucking proper cocktail like an adult. Or, here's an idea: don't drink at all if you don't like the taste. Real liquor is an acquired taste, but no one has to acquire it if they don't want to.

Ahh, the neckbeard fluffing alcohol elitist. Comes into any thread where alcohol is mentioned even tangentially to sip on his microbrew and scoff at what others are drinking. Watch as he derides your maturity or masculinity for drinking anything but the "real" sort of alcohol. Coincidentally he also holds a second position as a music authority, and will gladly go into any thread discussing pop music to tell you how much it sucks.
posted by codacorolla at 10:41 AM on October 27, 2010 [14 favorites]


The fact that people are drinking this shit makes me wonder if anyone at Candle Corporation of America ever considered changing back to the original formula of their flagship beverage product. They could call it "Sterno Classic."
posted by Hylas at 10:42 AM on October 27, 2010


Ahh, the neckbeard fluffing alcohol elitist. Comes into any thread where alcohol is mentioned even tangentially to sip on his microbrew and scoff at what others are drinking. Watch as he derides your maturity or masculinity for drinking anything but the "real" sort of alcohol.

codacorolla hasn't tried Four Loko.
posted by hippybear at 11:10 AM on October 27, 2010


neckbeard

I think "throatee" is the preferred word here.
posted by josher71 at 11:21 AM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ahh, the neckbeard fluffing alcohol elitist.

My neckbeard is in a permanent state of arousal, and requires no fluffing whatsoever.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:44 AM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Not necessarily siding with the company selling this stuff but they do bring up some interesting points in their statement that kind of brings question as to why Four Loko was singled out when these kids were also popping roofies, controlled substances, and drinking many other types of beer and liqour.

If their statement is correct, I'd say this is more of a "Too much of a good thing is bad for you" scenario (not that I'd agree that beer and caffiene is a "good" combination of course...heh)
posted by samsara at 1:56 PM on October 27, 2010


I'm getting queasy just thinking of the hangover from this shit. I need to avoid anything that makes red bull & vodka seem like a good idea by comparison.
posted by Space Kitty at 1:57 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


codacorolla, you jejune pantywaist.

* takes slug from bagged bottle o' Buckfast *
posted by everichon at 1:59 PM on October 27, 2010


Oh c'mon, I totally name-dropped a micro-brew I was drinking way before he said anything!

So not fair. Just like some fan of shitty bands to be so unfair.
posted by paisley henosis at 3:03 PM on October 27, 2010


I just chugged a bottle of 1870 Lafite Rothschild. Taste was kind of funky so I mixed it with Sprite. PAR-TAY!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 3:25 PM on October 27, 2010


I present to you the kaffesort (coffee-black)

Pussy.

THIS is how it's made:
  • Boil a pot of coffee overnight.
  • Get a pint glass and put a coin in it.
  • Fill 1/7th of the glass with coffee. If the coin floats, the coffee's strong enough.
  • Fill the rest with moonshine. Wait until the coin dissolves.
  • Drink.
posted by ymgve at 4:11 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Paisley: like I said, I can dig on the micro-brews too. But, I can also appreciate a Bud and a shot of JD after a shitty day. So it's all good.
posted by jonmc at 4:32 PM on October 27, 2010


ymgve: Pussy.

I always suspected Norwegians had an extra liver where the rest of us have brains.
posted by brokkr at 3:06 AM on October 28, 2010


codacorolla: I wasn't scoffing at a choice of liquor; I was scoffing at the need to get shitfaced on soft-drinks so you could scream and puke in the gutter on your way home and talk about your EPIC!!! blackouts on TextsFuckFromMyLifeLastNight.

You want to get yer facts straight, there.

Like many things, it isn't the what, but the how. And /clearly/ these beverages are marketed toward the most amateur of drinkers most of whom turn into raging douchebags under the influence. All in the name of hiding the taste of vodka, for the sole purpose of getting hammered as fast as possible.

So, yes. This particular beverage is basically magical doughebag elixir with a date-rape chaser. It ain't being snobby pointing that out.

* Is that the correct use of "whom" there? Any grammar neckbeards out there that gotta fluff?
posted by clvrmnky at 11:11 AM on October 28, 2010


Ahh, the neckbeard fluffing alcohol elitist. Comes into any thread where alcohol is mentioned even tangentially to sip on his microbrew and scoff at what others are drinking. Watch as he derides your maturity or masculinity for drinking anything but the "real" sort of alcohol. Coincidentally he also holds a second position as a music authority, and will gladly go into any thread discussing pop music to tell you how much it sucks.
posted by codacorolla at 6:41 PM on October 27


And yet, sadly - for the shitey pop-laced pansy drinkers - he's absolutely correct. Nothing whatsoever to do with masculinity, everything to do with taste. Oh, and you know, not feeling that the only way you can enjoy X is to tart X up with stuff that made you happy when you were still a kiddie. If you don't like proper drinks, just bloody well admit it and stop pretending.
posted by Decani at 11:41 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


*fluffs neckbeard, measures dick*
posted by Greg Nog at 12:07 PM on October 29, 2010


I think that Four Loko doesn't taste good, but is genius. The price of hops is rising and volatile, why not substitute another bittering agent? Enter caffeine. I think the next step will be a nicotine-caffeine-alcoholic energy drink marketed mostly to people who play baseball, football, kickball, or any other sport with a ball in it, plus the people who aspire to as socially trendy as the before mentioned ball-centric athletes. Ultimate players will continue to smoke weed and not be sucked into the marketing machine.
posted by peeedro at 11:21 AM on November 11, 2010


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