Young people across the country have been discovering Four Loko (sometimes erroneously spelled Four Loco), a caffeinated alcoholic beverage. The drink has caused some controversy because of its remarkably high percentage of alcohol and its cheap cost. Some have called it a “blackout drug” even referred to it as “liquid cocaine.”
What is Four Loko? Here’s some information on the drink, its alcohol content and the controversy surrounding it.
What is Four Loko? Ingredients
In addition to malt liquor, the ingredients in the alcoholic drink include guarana, taurine and possibly wormwood oil, a substance found in absinthe. Though combining alcohol and caffeine is not recommended by doctors, people have been doing it for some time, whether it’s with Red Bull and vodka or other similar alcoholic energy drinks like Sparks.
Four Loko is similar to Sparks except it has way more alcohol. The alcoholic content of a can of Four Loko is a staggering 12%, far more than the 4-5% of a typical beer. Even Sparks is only half as potent, at 6% alcoholic content.
What is Four Loko? Varieties
The eight varieties of Four Loko as of September 2010 are Lemonade, Watermelon, Grape, Fruit Punch, Blue Raspberry, Orange, Cranberry and Cranberry Lemonade. They all come in attractive, brightly-designed aluminum cans that stand out as you approach a convenience store cooler.
What is Four Loko? Price
A 24-ounce can of Four Loko is said to provide the equivalent of about 5 cans of beer. Yet its retail cost is less than three dollars. A recent trip to an Illinois convenience store found all eight varieties of the drink selling for just $2.95 each.
Less than three dollars for the equivalent of 5 cans of beer? That’s an extraordinarily cheap way to achieve a drunken buzz. You can see why the drink is rapidly growing in popularity.
What is Four Loko? Concerns
Chris Hunter, one of the product’s founders, told an interviewer the inspiration for the beverage came to him while attending a BYOB event and wishing that Red Bull and vodka came pre-mixed. That inspiration led to the Four Loko combination of caffeine and alcohol.
Medical experts warn the combination can be dangerous because people naturally become sleepy when they’ve had too much alcohol, and that normally causes them to stop drinking. But caffeine counteracts that sleepiness, meaning that partiers may stay up and continue drinking, creating some possibly dangerous situations.
What is Four Loko? Where to find it
Where can you get Four Loko? The drink was developed in Chicago in 2005 by Phusion Projects. It debuted in Ohio before spreading to other states. The alcoholic drink can be found in several Midwest states and across the country. Here in Illinois, the beverage can be purchased in corner stores, neighborhood groceries and some 7-11 outlets.
What is Four Loko? Summary
Many acquaintances who have used Four Loko call it a drink that consistently makes you “blackout drunk,” so caution is definitely advised when consuming the product. In 2009 the government began investigating these energy drinks but so far the products remain legal.
What is Four Loko? Sources