Drown in the Drank


Red Bull, Rockstar and other insanely caffeinated drinks have been flooding Americans’ everyday lives for quite some time now. But what about an “extreme relaxation beverage?” Enter Drank. No, this isn’t the slangified codeine cough syrup popularized by Houston hip hop artist DJ Screw. Brought to folks that just need a little help to get sleepy by Innovative Beverage Group, the drink is slated to “slow your roll,” according to Drank’s Web site. The group aims to make this purple, carbonated snooze slosh appeal to both overworked students and glamorous urban musicians alike (the site features music videos from Ludacris and Pussycat Dolls promoting Drank as they slurp it between grinds).

What is it about Drank that is supposed to have such a calming effect on its consumers? The plum-hued can sports a relaxed-looking font declaring its main three unwinding ingredients: melatonin, rose hips and valerian root. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant and levels of it occurring naturally in human bodies are highest before falling asleep, according to Mayo Clinic’s Web site. Valerian root is a common herbal remedy for people experiencing difficulty falling asleep. And rose hips? Well, those just sound fancy.

So how did the Spinnaker respond to news of this new knock-’em-out juice? They sent two staffers to Neptune Beach’s 8 ‘Til Late to pick up a few cans and give them a whirl. Really, what did you expect?

Mike Tomassoni, Art Director:

The luscious aroma of purple drank percolates the senses making them sensual, slow moving, waves of relaxation. All my body movements including brain functions became tranquilized, leaving my overall essence hushed like purple sunset skies. All my hopes, ambitions, motivations and motor skills meet their demise. And then comes the sloth-like eyes.

Dreaming while awake, hearing whispering lullabies, telling me softly, “Visualize you’re in the skies, cloud surfing on purple fluff;” soon I lust over this purple stuff. Now I’m half-way through the can, wondering where I am, thinking Dr. Seuss drank this before writing “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Rising from my chair is a hell of a task, like my body’s impaired by a full body cast. Thinking to myself this Drank is a blast, but how long will these slurred effects last?

Contradictory body functions appear, as my eyes stare and pupils repair my blurry vision with distorted precision, making every decision need a revision. Upon finishing the last drop of purple nectar, it became clear this Drank is sheer royalty, worthy of a golden scepter and robe made of leopard. However I made many mistakes when my pink brain became infused with purple perceptions.

I felt my life at stake, when I picked up a venomous snake, placed it on a plate and thought it was a long, squirmy, sprinkled cake. Then I followed through my misconstrued thoughts, ate the serpent that I caught and finished the purple Drank my homie brought. After such a slithery meal, I began to feel surreal. All my senses peeled, like ripe mango, my tongue hung low and got tangled like a level five tornado. My ears erupted from the sound of volcanoes, but in reality, the sounds were simply jazz piano. But after two hours my slow super powers were devoured.

You see, the purple Drank shower doesn’t last all day — to my dismay, tranquilized life had gone away — but I figure there will be another day to slow-play, the all-natural purple way. That is, until it’s banned, illegal and labeled as a class A drug. For thee who indulge in the purple Drank, will become a purple slug.

Beca Grimm, Features Editor:

I was somewhat weary of the stuff, especially since I tend to associate carbonation with either caffeine or alcohol, and Drank has neither in it.

The initial explosion in my mouth wasn’t unlike some absurdly sweet grape soda. The aftertaste rotted my teeth like Flintstone chewable vitamins. The flavor definitely did not go well with portabella burgers, so don’t even try it.

It took about 20 minutes or so until I started to feel a little sedated. The can is supposed to last for two servings, so after drinking both I didn’t feel too motivated to leave my chair for a while. After some heckling, I removed myself from the otherwise not terribly comfy seat and tried my hand at my sport of choice, air hockey. I narrowly lost — a fact that I blame on Drank’s ultra-relaxing effects.

The bubbly purple stuff cast a spell on me and leaves my being a little loopy, lazy and generally groggy. I hung around Mike’s for a few hours until Drank’s effects subsided, and I deemed it safe to trek the few blocks home.

I felt relatively unalert and floaty the next morning. This may be attributed to Drank’s sleepy spell or the white wine I indulged in after returning to my house. I suppose I could go for a do-over.

All in all, I found Drank to be a bit of a joke. It tasted like cavity-inducing candy and didn’t leave me a whole lot more relaxed than an Indian pale ale or lavender tea or a hot bath or a variety of things that are more enjoyable than a $3 canister of creepy chemicals. Also, I felt a little unsettled by the fact that the liquid was hyped with so much vitamin B (40 mg vitamin B3, 20 mg vitamin B5 and 4 mg vitamin B6), which is something Drank has in common with energy drinks like Red Bull.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Drank over any of my aforementioned tried-’n’-true get-sleepy methods — unless, of course, you have a Dirty South party to attend in the near future. In that case, better load up and zone out.