Weird Food News

Under FDA scrutiny, caffeinated malt beverage Four Loko will go caffeine-free

For a long, long time, we had to take our uppers and downers the old-fashioned way, popping an Adderall with a beer, or drinking a vodka-Red Bull, the nightclub cocktail of champions.

The big alcohol producers wanted in on the fun, so several created caffeinated malt beverages, sold in cans in gas stations, essentially giving guzzlers a night of insanity for just a couple of dollars. The path of those drinks is fraught with government-imposed obstacles, though, and Phusion Products, makers of Four Loko, may become the next victim of regulation.

Several states have banned the beverage, thanks to reports of people who lack self-control by getting sick, and the FDA is expected to weigh in today, possibly recommending that the gateway to blackout fun should be removed from shelves across the country.

And just like predecessor Sparks, the MillerCoors upper-meets-downer that tastes like rejection and morning-after regret, Four Loko has already announced that it'll be making a non-caffeinated version of the drink. Bummer.

Wondering where you'll get your fix in the post-Four Loko world? Fear not: The guys over at BuzzFeed have already published a recipe for Four Loko homebrew.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk