Monday, November 16, 2009

Sparks Outlawed? Now You Can Make It at Home

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 5:56 PM

Back in December 2008, MillerCoors voluntarily removed caffeine, taurine, guarana, and ginseng from energy drink Sparks, due in part to pressure from San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. Hipsters everywhere lost their collective shit. The overly sweet malt liquor/energy drink hybrid saturated the fabric of many a party flannel. Subtract the caffeine and all you have left is a really gross drink, instead of a really gross drink that makes you stay up really, really late.

click to enlarge A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN?
  • A match made in heaven?
Luckily, there were drinks like Four-Loko and Joose primed to fill the 16-oz-can shaped hole in our hearts. Their stupid names and potential to dye your tongue as if you were suffering from a nutritional deficiency felt familiar and safe.

But The Man wasn't satisfied.

Herrera issued a statement on Nov. 13 explaining that he and other state attorneys had successfully pressured the FDA into investigating the safety of caffeinated alcoholic beverages, because they create "wide-awake" drunks and "may lead to increased risk-taking and other serious alcohol-related problems such as driving under the influence, violence, sexual assault, and suicide." The desired outcome of this investigation? Herrera hopes "companies that produce these drinks and target youth with their products will take the responsible step and remove these dangerous products from the marketplace immediately."

When life hands you lemons, you make Bathtub Sparks.
The following drink was reverse-engineered from a vintage can of caffeinated Sparks and rigorously tested via blind taste-test by SFoodie and four people who agreed to come over to the author's house and drink this stuff, plus two random guys on the street who should be applauded for their daring and general zest for life. Video evidence of highly scientifical tastings below.
click to enlarge Don't be alarmed when it foams.
  • Don't be alarmed when it foams.
The results? It's virtually impossible to tell the difference between Bathtub Sparks (or Not Sparks, or Moonshine Sparks) and real Sparks. Between tastings, palates were cleansed with beer.

Actual testimony:

"God, that's so fucking gross."

"This is actually hurting my stomach."

"I'm buzzed, I've got so much caffeine in my body."

"This is the best day of my life."

In other words, it tasted just like Sparks.

Bathtub Sparks

2 pieces Pez candy, one yellow, one pink
1 can King Cobra
1 can Red Bull

Crush the Pez until reduced to a fine powder. Transfer the powder to the bottom of an empty glass. Pour in equal parts King Cobra and Red Bull. Don't be alarmed when the foaming begins; it will subside. Adjust for flavor.

click to enlarge A side-by-side comparison. The one that looks more like urine is the actual Sparks.
  • A side-by-side comparison. The one that looks more like urine is the actual Sparks.

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Andy Wright


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