It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more.
Sometimes you're at a tailgate and they've run out of Dallas Blonde, Local Buzz and Lakewood Lager, and you're faced with the choice between a Bud Light Lime-A-Rita and a Peach Four Loko. WHAT IS THE RIGHT ANSWER QUESTION MARK QUESTION MARK. I had to know.
I went to 7-11, enlisted the help of some not-at-all-eager-about-this friends ("Dammit, Alice."), and we began our serious researching.
First, we would tackle the Four Loko. Let us begin by examining the packaging of this fine product.
I know it's hard to detect the Four Loko in this photo, since it is employing clever neon camouflage to hide in its natural habitat, but it's there. Look closely. And the design is perfectly practical: once you puke your guts up from sipping on Peach Four Loko, the can is impossible to find amongst the pure, still-ice-cold, intestinal destruction.
It should also be noted that even Four Loko doesn't want you to drink Four Loko. This sticker on the top seems to say, "Really? Are you absolutely certain? Because this is the beginning of an awful, awful, future for you."
If you can see Four Loko (despite its camouflagery) and you choose to peel the Peel Here sticker, and you further choose to pop the top, drink swiftly lest ye vomit. The Fruit Punch Four Loko resulted in two out of three testers gagging, and one dry heave with a "Shut up and leave me alone I really might (indecipherable) (indecipherable) Oh God (indecipherable)."
We had iced the product thoroughly, so I know that it was not user error -- this was as good as Fruit Punch Four Loko would ever taste. On a scale of worsts, it was somewhere between Kool Aid Man's grundle and the Hawaiian Punch kid making out with your grandma's cigarettes.
Next up was Watermelon Four Loko. This was easily better than the Fruit Punch, but lots of things would have been better than the Fruit Punch (examples include but are not limited to: birthing an alien; bleeding from the eyes; third degree nut burns). The ingredients list on the Watermelon Four Loko likely reads: Watermelon Jolly Ranchers, gasoline, cigar butts, bologna, regret.
Peach Four Loko was the final Loko. And it was the worst Loko of them all. Forget the idea of this tasting anything like peach-flavor. That's just a straight up lie. Plumeria Lotion From Bath & Body Works Out Of Your Great Aunt's Sweaty Cleave would have been a more accurate name for this flavor. Or Floral Couch Death.
Scientific Testing Results: If you are ever faced with Four Loko as a drinking option, only choose Watermelon. Choose no other Loko.
Lingering question: Where are the three previous Lokos that happened before the fourth Loko? Is this like Multiplicity? One Loko was actually alright, but then they kept making copies of it and things got worse and worse? One thing's for sure: if you drink a Four Loko, you will have nonstop Michael-Keaton-and-Andie-MacDowell-trying-to-kiss dreams.
Next up: Summa Those Bud Light-a-rita Things
We began with the Mang-o-rita, and were pleasantly not vomiting after one sip. "It doesn't taste like it's trying to have nonconsensual sex with you," said one tester. The mango didn't taste awful, my tastebuds weren't burning off, and overall, I began to not hate my life again. Mang-o-rita brought me hope. And I thank her for that. Maybe it was the fact that she was 8% alcohol by volume, versus the Four Loko's 12%. Whatever it was, this drink tastes like Lifesavers Holes and beer. It's exactly what you signed up for. So, if you're into a mango-margarita-beer thing, this is your malt beverage of choice.
With high hopes, I immediately popped open the Lime-a-rita. I have historically been a fan of Blime (Bud Light Lime) when the hour is late and even the Miller High Life is all gone. I hoped this would be 25 fluid ounces of Blime. IT WAS NOT. The Lime-a-rita attempts to taste like tequila and instead tastes like fruit loops, moldy coffee grounds and NO.
Raz-ber-rita tasted like grape Kool Aid and bleach had a beverage baby. And Straw-ber-rita was all of the worst things about kindergarten.
Scientific Testing Results: Get the Mang-o-rita if you find yourself being offered your choice of Bud Light Rita things. Also take a good hard look at your friendships in that moment.
Steel Reserve Blk Berry and Mike's Harder Lemonade are as good at convincing you that they are delicious as this truck is at convincing you that it's a Chevy. Do not pass go on these, no matter what.
Be safe out there in the land of malt beverages. It's a sad, scary place. Sadder and scarier than the Atreyu and Artax scene in The Neverending Story. Plus neon vomit and forever heartburn.