For those who don’t reside under a rather large rock or have found themselves stranded on a desert island, you’ve bore witness to the onslaught of media coverage surrounding Phusion Projects, LLC and its caffeinated malt beverage, Four Loko. The company is facing wrongful death litigation and massive heat from the FDA for its potentially dangerous combination of alcohol and stimulants; caffeine, guarana and taurine to be precise. Not that the investigations concerning caffeinated-alcoholic beverages are new on the scene, take for instance MillerCoors and their reformulation of Sparks, and Anheuser-Busch pulling Bud Xtra off the shelves all together, but I’m a glutton for controversy.
So, why do you ask, would I ignore the warnings that have recently befallen this malt beverage and submit myself to its potential torture? Well, when my generation finds itself in assisted living and we are all sitting around a game of cribbage reminiscing about the days in which Four Loko lived strong and chatting about our various affairs with its contents, I want to have something to contribute.
At only $1.89 a can and containing the alcohol content of a bottle of wine, I immediately saw the appeal but was absolutely disgusted by its flavor, a cross between a liquefied Jolly Rancher and horse piss. I made sure to purchase two of the eight flavors, Watermelon and Blue Raspberry, to ensure I didn’t just happen upon a bad batch. Both tasted nothing like malt liquor or an energy drink, for that matter, and were toxic enough to corrode a quarter. I can say with confidence that the folks drinking this stuff are desperately seeking a quick buzz because this certainly isn’t a beverage you savor, as I had to fight my gag reflex with every sip. The FDA now has my full support in its search for a ban on the product due to poor taste alone.
I am no stranger to sprucing up my energy drinks with a couple shots of vodka, so I hadn’t anticipated that a couple 23.5-ounce cans would knock me on my backside, but unfortunately the folks at Whiskey River Saloon (1025 N. Old World Third St.) had a front row seat to my demise. I incessantly fell down and found myself being booed off the stage. I ask that they consider this my open apology for being “that girl.” My stupor, however, doesn’t excuse the old Bootlegger’s location going through an almost identical transformation to Red Rock Saloon, even stealing a sliver of their mechanical bull thunder by promising to feature the ride on Thursday nights. Now Milwaukee can play host to two country-themed bars and twice the amount of ladies running around in daisy dukes, yay? I would only return in an attempt to find my dignity.
And as far as the poison I drank beforehand, I’ll be practicing Four Loko abstinence. Feel free to join me, and because I’m not a fascist, I will not pass judgment should you choose to participate in this dangerously disgusting trend, but please drink responsibly. Needless to say, this social experiment went horribly and embarrassingly wrong.