Taste Test: Drank

Due to popular demand
and the fact that we love trying weird foods and candies,
The A.V.
Club will now regularly feature "Taste Tests." Feel free to suggest
disgusting and/or delicious new edibles for future installments: E-mail us at



(Note: For maximum impact,
this column should be read very, very slowly.)

Sizzurp. Lean. Drank. Barre. Syrup.
Purple Jelly. Purple Stuff. No matter what you call it, the woozy mixture of
promethazine and codeine, sometimes mixed with Jolly Ranchers and vodka, has
swept the South and conquered much of hip-hop. It's also helped kill at least
two hip-hop icons. Houston's DJ Screw helped popularize syrup and the "chopped
and screwed" mixes that dramatically slowed down hip-hop tracks for the benefit
of fans whose senses had been altered and slowed by copious syrup-sipping. Not
coincidentally, Screw also became the first prominent hip-hopper to die of a
codeine overdose. Late last year, UGK's Pimp C also died of an accidental
promethazine/codeine overdose that interacted fatally with his sleep apnea.


As a result, syrup has become an
explosive hot-button issue in hip-hop. After Pimp C's death, UGK's Bun B removed
all the references to the concoction from his solo album Il Trill, and
Li'l Wayne has caught flak for the regular references to syrup in his music.

But what if there was a
syrup-like concoction that mirrored some of the effects of lean without the
fatal side effects? That's the thinking behind "Drank," a perfectly legal,
non-alcoholic "Anti-Energy Drank" whose blindingly purple website winkingly
warns consumers, "This beverage may be extremely relaxing and calming and may
cause one to lean." Mmmm, that's good subtlety! It could also be argued that
Drank will "chop and screw" your senses until you are Cing Pimps and feel like
you're drinking a potent combination of promethazine and codeine.

In case dim-witted potential
buyers don't pick up on the hints, the site features a syrup-loving Three 6
Mafia video that contains explicit references to promethazine. In case a few
dum-dums out there are still in the dark, the website goes on to boast,
"Innovative Beverage Group has taken time and great care to design the first
and only anti-energy drink of its kind 'Drank.' Drank was formulated to be an
extreme relaxation beverage that personifies the slow, smooth style of chopped
and screwed music put forth by hip-hop giants such as: Mike Watts, Paul Wall,
Chamillionaire, Slim Thug, Mike Jones, Johnny Dang, Three 6 Mafia, T.I., Rick
Ross, Ludacris and the late D.J. Screw."


Intrigued, we decided to buy
ourselves a "Drank" and see if this self-described "pick-me-down" lived up to
the hype. Alas, don't go looking for promethazine or codeine in Drank. Instead,
"Drank" pays homage to the South's most notorious hip-hop brain-melting
beverage with the kind of hippified products that the granola crowd uses as
all-natural herbal sleep aids. So instead of prescription-strength cough syrup,
"Drank" boasts the gently narcotizing likes of valerian root, melatonin, and
rose hips. (Let's see Li'l Wayne try to make a song about rose hips and
valerian root.)

The Drank website keeps it
gangsta by pointing out that rose hips are a great motherfucking source of
antioxidants and can be consumed in tea (which it helpfully/peculiarly points
out is a "drink," but not a "drank") as a well as a topical oil.

Note: Since we all anticipated
snoozing peacefully at our desks shortly after getting our Drank on, we
scheduled this Taste Test late on a Friday.

Taste: A.V. Club taste-testers were
pleasantly surprised by the taste. Though one guinea pig noted "It smells
exactly like Dimetapp and looks like a melted popsicle," most found its taste
pleasing and light, not unlike watered-down grape Kool-Aid. "It's really tart
at first, then mellows out," one tester opined before passing out and crashing
to the floor. (No, not really.)


Office reactions:

— "It's like 7-Up with purple in

— "It's actually pretty

— "Smells like Smarties."

— "I'd get a grill and drank some
of this."

— "It'd taste good with alcohol."

— "Tastes like fermented Nerds."

— "My mouth reacted badly."

— "It's so anticlimactic." "It
won't be when we're all asleep at our desks in five minutes."

— "It's really not bad at all; I expected it to be far worse—syrupy,
overly sweet."

— "It's fizzy, pretty light, and mostly enjoyable. It might be a little
too much with a whole can, though."

— "I don't know if it's because it's 1:18 p.m. on Friday or because
of the Drank, but suddenly I've got a good mellow going."

— "Tastes a bit like children's chewable grape Tylenol mixed with soda
water. Not as intolerable as expected. I would probably hang out and drink up
to the two-can advised limit while bumpin' Chamillionaire from my low-rider."

— "I'm feeling pleasantly sleepy, like I just dropped some valerian and
chased it with some rose hips. Ah, all is right with the universe now, and I
appreciate the music of Three 6 Mafia in a whole new way. Verily, they are gods
among men."

— "I would recommend it to others, but only in a
mocking fashion."


— "As flavor goes, it's
far superior to any of the crappy Mountain Dew Dewmocracy flavors we tried a
couple of weeks ago. I'd actually drink this."

— "I hope it works. I
like being tired."

Ever the fearless journalist, Genevieve Koski volunteered to drink a
comparatively heavy dose of Drank. Here are her observations:

— "I'm having trouble forming... [Long, awkward pause, during which other
people laugh.] ...thoughts."

— "It's like being slightly
drunk without any of the lowered inhibitions. And isn't that the point of being

— "I actually am feeling
some sort of effect, somewhat akin to a secondhand buzz. I feel just slightly
stupider: It just took me a good while to process the sentence I was reading,
and I kept zoning out. The words kept shifting and I found myself looking
through the computer screen. I don't feel tired, just... blurry, I guess you'd
say. I just wanna go outside and sit in the grass and listen to some music now."

to find it:
Price and availability both suck. Josh Modell ended up
paying around $16 for one can of Drank after shipping and handling, and had to
buy his can on eBay. So don't go looking for this down at the Stop 'N' Shop.
Unsurprisingly, the drink is available primarily in the South. A full list of
locations carrying Drank can be found at
that oh-so-purple Drank site