FourLoko sucked me in, will it drag me down?

Being out of touch with the world and not a drinker, I had not heard of this new, cheap highly alcoholic beverage, FourLoko.I heard of it when one of our student reporting teams pitched a story on it.

Loko is probably aptly named.

The 23 oz drink has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, 12% alcohol (in Missouri. It varies by state.) And sells for the ridiculously low price of $2.49 at my local Quik Trip. The sensationalized names for it include blackout in a can and liquid cocaine.

It’s cheap, it’s legal, it doesn’t taste like beer and comes in several flavors. Something in me was dying to try it.

So tonight’s the night. I bought the fruit punch flavor. Most you you might know that I’m not much of a drinker and don’t like the taste of beer at all. So I’ve also bought strawberries and Cool Whip, just in case I need to turn this into a smoothie.

I’ve put away the car keys, I’m not going near the power tools. I’m in for the night and I’m going to try to drink the full can. The only witnesses are Frankie and Alvie. This could get ugly.


Plan B

I’m so pathetic. Did I drink too much, too soon? I’m already ready to go to Plan B: Cool Whip and strawberries to turn this into a smoothie. Though I’m already hurting, I’d really like to see what I’m like if I drink the whole thing.

I can certainly see why so many people are arguing to have this banned. I’m not sure responsible drinking is possible with this stuff.


Plan B is working. I’m now more than half way through this 23 oz. can of Four Loko. I think my point has been made, I think I’ve gathered enough evidence to form solid conclusions. I didn’t start this post with a premise, but I did have one. I suspected that I wouldn’t like the taste nor the effect of FourLoko. I was right.
But I also know that there is a market for this drink, one that was specifically targeted. They’ll make a lot of money — until it’s banned everywhere except Peoria.

My tweets while drinking have been a bunch of goofy non sequiters and my students have loved it. I have picked up six new followers and this post is getting more views than anything else I’ve ever done. I’ve enjoyed being less inhibited, but my head hurts and my ears are on fire. I hope I don’t feel like doggie dodo in the morning.

My bottom line: Four Loko is all that I feared it would be. It’s too large, too cheap and the alcohol content is too high. The clerk at QuikTrip said it’s selling very well. That’s unfortunate. I favor responsible drinking, this seems anything but. I did this test in the safety of my home. Most of Four Loko’s customers probably won’t do the same.




24 responses to “FourLoko sucked me in, will it drag me down?

  1. It does have a slight medicinal taste, but not nearly as bad as my first taste of Red Bull. It’s carbonated like a soda (or pop.)

  2. If I were a young person out to get drunk, this would do it very quickly and cheaply. (And in case you don’t know, I’m a serious liteweight)

  3. I can’t believe how quickly this is hitting me. Starting to be unable to multi task, typing speed has slowed. Yelling at the tv will soon ensue. (Watching the Mizzou football game.) Will have to pace myself.

  4. If I were at a party, I’d push through this sleepiness and keep drinking. This drink is clearly all about getting drunk and getting there fast.

  5. Drinking alone might have been a bad decision.

  6. Yelling at the game, having random thoughts about what to do tomorrow (mow the lawn) and almost complimented a current student. Mind is darting all over the place!

  7. Ok folks, I’m ready to say “been there, done that.” I might even make my own T-shirt. My head hurts, I’m hot, I’m so glad I don’t have to drive anywhere. I’m about to turn this into a smoothie — at least I’ll enjoy the taste more.

  8. Holy shit, why did I decide to take one for the team tonight??

  9. From Twitter: @nathangiannini: @uberscholar FourLoko + blender = losing a finger.

  10. Oooh sounds terrible! Good Luck with that! 🙂

  11. I have always been philosophically opposed to drinking just to get drunk. It makes no sense to me. There must be other things you can do to get that loose, uninhibited feeling that goes along with being drunk. Or is there something else about being drunk that I don’t understand.

    And I was right: this smoothie is much too good.

  12. From Twitter: @waanatron: @uberscholar First time my brother drank Four Loko, he ended up getting stitches.

    THIS IS EXACTLY MY POINT. I hope he’s ok.

  13. I can’t believe that my sister actually tweeted, “More cowbell.” She must be drunk!

  14. You can add vodka & red bull to the “no fly” list. I’ve never done it, but I’ve seen the results.

    Funkiest thing my old crew downed was a homemade concoction we called the Gin Whiz. Mountain Dew, Country Time lemonade and gin in Quik-Trip Squart bottles. Remember those? We’d fill’em for the road and blue highway barhop through places like Melbourne and Bussey.

  15. Hey Fool! I clearly have a lot to learn about drinking and doing it right.

  16. You do realize now you have to do a follow up to see if the second time drinking Four Loko has less of an effect on you. I mean, for science and all….

  17. J-Man, I don’t know if I could do that again. Certainly I would pace myself better, but with 12% alcohol that would mean a sip every 10 minutes! I think it could be pretty funny to see me in an environment with much more stimulus.

  18. Have always known Karen to be sober and wise. Not now. Loved, loved, loved your column. I hope to do something like this when I get back into the teaching game. YOU GO GIRL!!!!

  19. Yo, Wretch, thanks for the comments. Most people know me to be sober, which is one reason why doing this test was so interesting. Teaching has allowed me to have some interesting experiences, much like our daily journalism gigs did. I hope you’re back at it soon, we need you!

  20. how was the 4 loko hangover?

    • Here’s my official line: “Did someone get the license plate of that truck that hit me?”

      I felt fine the next day, but I’m telling students that I felt like crap — want them to believe there are serious repercussions to this stuff!

  21. Today’s news:
    By Problem Partner Kristin Samuelson | Last week, Michigan’s Liquor Control Commission banned caffeinated alcoholic drinks such as Four Loko amid recent reports of college students being hospitalized after consuming such drinks.

  22. Oooh, Karen!! I really don’t want to but I did laugh out loud while reading this…

  23. Jarrin, this was a fun experiment, people are still talking about it, I mean me, I mean it! FourLoko has removed the caffeine and states and universities continue to ban it.

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