So today is apparently Four Loko day here on Voracious. Following reports on the Daily Weekly about the caffeinated alcoholic beverage being blamed for the hospitalization of several Central Washington University students earlier this month, my own screed about the ridiculous powers and popularity of this swill, the Surly Gourmand's brave taste-testing and the completely ham-handed attempt by Edelman (the PR flacks hired by Four Loko's creators, Phusion Projects LLC, to lift their image out of the toilet) to get us to change the fundamental laws of mathematics, you'd think we would've all said enough on the topic.
But you'd be wrong.
See, after initial (and brilliantly misinformed) reports from the local media that the hospitalized CWU students had been the victims of everything from roofies to poison to alien mind-control rays, it came to light that the primary culprit seemed to be nothing more than a spread of disgusting, rainbow-colored malt liquors juiced with caffeine, taurine and guarana that went by the name Four Loko--a drink that was already wickedly popular among college students, idiots, problem drinkers and those who want their vomit to look like a rainbow. And the minute that the devil-du-jour had a name, out came the politicians claiming that they've known about this stuff for years, and were already hard at work having it banned by the feds.
Personally, I think this is a bit of an over-reaction--like banning Twinkies just because they make your kids fat or outlawing tequila shooters just because they make Charlie Sheen go fucking crazy. And anyway, it's not like Four Loko is the only completely nasty alcoholic concoction out there custom-made for putting party girls on their backs. I think there are a lot of quasi-adult beverages on the market that ought to get the boot before Four Loko does. And here are a few of them...
|Jagermeister: Dangerous to midgets since 1935|
I actually called for the removal of Jagermeister from all respectable barrooms and public houses a while ago. Here was my pitch:
"If you drink Jagermeister, you're a douche. If you mix your Jager with anything else, you're a douche AND a pussy. If you work in a bar that has one of those Jager machines that serves that fucking cough syrup all ice-cold for the better enjoyment of those dumb enough to drink it in the first place? Sorry, you're working in a douche-a-teria and, therefore, are a douchebag yourself for contributing to the douching up of the American barroom. Have I made myself clear yet, or should I use the word "douche" six or seven more times?
Jagermeister is the Ed Hardy tee-shirt of the booze world. In a universe of lovingly well-kept muscle cars, it is a 1987 Honda Civic with a blower and chromed pipes. There is nothing at all good about it today. There was nothing ever good about it when it first burst onto the scene as the lubricant of choice for date-rapists too poorly connected to know where to score roofies. If I never drink this stuff again in my life--or see some gang of just-a-little-bit-too-old-for-bar-hopping morons whooping it up over shots, pounding each other on the back and secretly wondering just how many shots they'll have to drink before they feel young enough again to try and lech up on the hot 19-year-old cocktail waitress--it STILL won't be enough. What I need is for someone to invent a time machine, go back to 1935, to Germany, find Jagermeister's inventor, Mr. Curt Mast, and punch him right in the face.
While they're at it, they might want to try and take a shot at a young Adolph Hitler as well. But Curt Mast? He's the important one."
2) Any beer that doesn't actually taste recognizably like beer
Fuck you and your lambics. Your rauchbier. Your fruit and vegetable concoctions and pumpkin ales and chocolate stouts. If I want my beer to taste like day-old coffee grounds sucked through bongwater, I'll let you know. But otherwise, to all you craft-brewers and passionate amateurs out there, STOP MAKING BEER THAT TASTES LIKE ASS.
Beer is supposed to taste like beer, not strawberries. It is supposed to taste like hops and barley, not peat smoke and melted Hershey's bars and pumpkins. You know what a good stout should taste like? Beer. A nice lager? Beer. A shitty tallboy of domestic ale? Like fucking beer.
I mean, if you don't like the taste of beer, why would you get into the business of making it in the first place? You want to make something that tastes of summer fruits and a unicorn's daydreams, go work for some hippie soda company and let me drink my Guinness in peace.
3) Anything in a martini glass that isn't a martini
This is another one I've complained about before:
"A martini is one thing and one thing only: a small bucket of gin with an olive floating in it.
Vanilla flavored vodka, chocolate shavings and half a fucking Milky Way bar? Not a martini.
Green apple vodka and schnapps? Not a martini.
Pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice, simple syrup and a splash of well vodka? Not a martini.
Anything at all other than gin, gin, gin, a touch of vermouth and an olive on a spike? Not a goddamn martini.
Look, I honestly don't even think that a classic martini made with vodka ought to be counted as a martini, but that, I can let go (only because they taste better dirty than a gin version does). But anything else? No. Just because it is served in a martini glass does NOT make whatever ridiculous, fruit-hatted concoction you're swilling into a martini. The word means the drink, not the container it is served in, and anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to sell you something.
Most likely another fucking appletini, you sniveling lush."
One note to add: Gentlemen, let's remember that Mr. James Bond was a fan of the classic martini. And every time you order something in a martini glass that isn't just a glass of dirty juniper consomme, you should imagine the Bond of your choosing walking through the door, sitting down beside you, asking you what you're drinking and then giving you a good British karate slap when you tell him that it's a mango-pomi-tini with a three-cherry garnish.
4) All Italian wines (except Prosecco)
Italian wines are what yuppies drink when they don't want to butcher the pronunciation of Picpoul de Pinet in front of their dates. They seem to exist exclusively to confuse and confound the normal boundaries of tasting by introducing roughly nine million unique growing regions and 114,000 individual grape varieties to the already crowded lexicon. And also, most of them taste like thinned grape cough syrup mixed with antifreeze.
Prosecco gets a pass from me only because good champagne is wickedly expensive and bad champagne ain't cheap. So if you're going to drink bad bubbly wine, you may as well be able to get it for ten bucks a bottle.
And no, American "sparkling wine" is not a reasonable substitute. You may as well pour a shot of rubbing alcohol into a can of Sprite.