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Cocaine: Gateway Drink or Genius Marketing?

By Hanna Aronovich in Food on Oct 5, 2006 11:57AM

Chicagoist has a dark sense of humor. And, we’ve got a hardcore caffeine habit. Lucky for us, the two now come in a controversial 8.4-ounce can. Las Vegas-based Redux Beverages recently rolled out their marketing campaign for the new energy drink Cocaine. It compares in calories to Red Bull (only 70 vs. Red Bull’s 80) but weighs in with 350 percent more caffeine (280 mg, about the same as four espresso shots). The drink also boasts an instant rush with no crash. Cocaine_436x600.jpg

How’s it taste? The drink is only available in select Los Angeles and New York locations, as well as a few events, such as New York Fashion Week (supposedly, it’ll be on soon). However, the kids at Best Week Ever got their hands on some, and they say the stuff burns – a sensation we try to avoid.

If the drink does make its way to Chicago, we’ll probably try it – more out of curiosity than anything else. However, many Chicago retailers are shunning the drink. The Sun-Times reported many bars and clubs don’t plan to stock the item. One Sam’s Wine and Spirits manager told the Sun-Times the drink might put off some customers, especially families.

Of course, substance abuse organizations, lawmakers and activists think the energy drink glamorizes the drug and encourages use. The makers of Cocaine scoff, saying consumers – including teens – know the difference between energy drinks and illegal drugs. We’d like to think so, too, but there’s a lot of stupid out there. And, a lot of poorly parented teens.

Is Cocaine the new candy cigarette? Hell, we smoked tons of candy cigarettes and never took up the real thing. In any case, if drinking Cocaine sounds like a dangerous road, you could go straight to Rehab.