Hello, readers. My name is Sean Beherec and I am one of the writers for Austin Appetite. The topics of my posts will vary from cool coffee shops around town to what it’s like to attend a tasting party for malt beverages. Today, I’m writing about the latter.
No accurate food blog can write about college culinary culture without delving into the topic of alcohol. But I decided to keep it classy, and caught up with a group of students who were hosting a “Four Loko Tasting Party” on a cool Friday evening.
Right inside the door, attendees were met with a pot full of mixed fruits and what appeared to be normal punch. That normal punch was actually the popular malt beverage Four Loko — fruit-punch-flavored Four Loko. Next to the bowl sat several other flavors, including grape and watermelon — two flavors I was told are also very popular among consumers.
The “tasting party” was a brief affair, lasting only about two hours, but the gala attracted nearly 20 well-dressed students from all degree programs, who sampled each flavor as if it were a fine wine.
“The smell is almost like white zinfandel,” said English senior Bobby about the fruit punch Four Loko mixed with fruit.
The crowd agreed and ranked fruit punch the best flavor present. Watermelon was eased out of second by blueberry after several positive reviews.
“It’s kinda tastes like a jolly rancher,” said journalism senior Olivia. “An alcoholic jolly rancher.”
Not every can was consumed that evening, with some attendees stating that they did not want to “get Lok’d” — a colloquial term for feeling the buzz of the caffeine present in Four Loko while also becoming intoxicated.
College students around the country cringed last year when the Federal Drug Administration considered investigating Four Loko and other caffeinated alcoholic beverages. The investigation came after complaints from the National Association of Attorneys General Youth Access to Alcohol Committee regarding the risks of such drinks.
The FDA has not released a statement since November regarding the sale of caffeinated alcoholic drinks, and, at least on this night in February, these college students were grateful.