Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Requiem for a Drink

News broke the other day of a settlement between Miller/Coors and a number of state attorneys general who pressured the beverage giant to cease the production of a certain caffeinated alcohol beverage. Teenagers all over the country were in a state of panic. Some of us well into our twenties took the news the hardest. Evenings fondly remembered, barely remembered, and mostly forgotten came flooding back in a wave of emotion and nausea not felt in some years. This news was cause for one last hurrah with our good friend Sparks.

Sparks, for the uninitiated, is a caffeinated alcohol bevearge. Make that a very strong caffeinated alcohol beverage. It contains: Caffeine, taurine, guarana, ginseng, PCP, and some other top secret ingredients. Once consumed, you understand why the can looks like a giant battery.

We decided the most fitting place to make our purchase would be Williams Liquors. We braved the terrible cold and felt mildly intoxicated before even entering the store. Those lights are hypnotizing!

Sparks, at two bucks a can, is quite a bargain. More caffeine than a latte at Starbucks, and more alcohol than a tall can of Budweiser, means that you actually save money when consuming this beverage. I now see the powerful foes this drink was up against.

Sparks looks like Minute Maid and tastes like sweet tarts. It tastes vile and burns on the way down. It was far worse than I remembered, but the effects reminded me of the lure. In the words of the dearly departed Joey Ramone, my brain was "Hanging upside down." I'm a slight but full grown man and this orange concoction was turning me into a different person.

We raised our cans: "Death to Sparks! Long Live Sparks!" We stumbled out into the night one last time saying goodbye to an old friend, and our once taken for granted youth.

For more essential commentary about the demise of sparks go here. Friend, journalist, and frequent Sparks consumer Casey Jarman eulogizes our friend far better than I ever could.

Get yours while supplies last.


Robyn said...

Wow, I feel like I missed something very essential in my youth. I've never had a Sparks. But we did have Mickey's Malt Liquor. No caffeine but, as the commercials say (or used to say), it makes your jimmy thicker.
Merry Christmas!

a said...

Sparks was very short lived. Came about in or around 2001/2 I believe. Unfortunately for you, it was not available for you in your formative years.

I used to drink Mickey's too. Luck for us it's not going anywhere.

Tamagosan said...

Sad times! To think I never tried it, this most rudimentary attempt at canning the Red Bull-vodka effect. Alas, the candle burned out long before the legend ever did.

Mickey's does pair excellently with a Swisher Sweet, which is not the same stimulant, but almost as classy as Sparks seems.

a said...

The dream is not dead yet my friend! Sparks is still in stores while supplies last! Hurry and get yours before it's gone!