Four Loko’s brief moment as New York’s controversial drink of choice appears to be coming to an end.
The New York Daily News reported yesterday that the State Liquor Authority, leading enemy of the sugar-blasted caffeine-infused “blackout-in-a-can,” has brokered a deal with the Four Loko parent company that prevents distribution into the state after Nov. 19.
In the past month, the beverage has captured the attention of many for both its supposedly dangerous effects and its peculiar taste. When reached by the Daily News, Sen. Chuck Schumer seemed relieved that he no longer needed to worry about these “dangerous and toxic brews,” though he favored a full ban of the stuff just to be safe.
For others, Four Loko primarily offended the palate. “The cloudy white lemonade is actually guessable as lemonade, albeit of a strangely metallic, mutant strain,” wrote former New York Times food critic Frank Bruni in his epicurian analysis of the cultural phenomenon. “And the red cranberry-lemonade conveys a vague suggestion of cranberry — with all of the fruit’s tart notes exiled, of course.”
Others, however, embraced the drink’s uncompromising artificiality. “So, I drink a lot of four loko and it’s dope,” wrote restauranteur Eddie Huang on his blog. This past Thursday Huang hosted the first of a proposed-to-be-weekly $3 Four Loko night at Lower East Side sport Xiao Ye. (The Observer was there covering that unhinged event.)
“That’s really all there is to it,” Huang continued. “I like gummy bears and I like alcohol that taste like malt liquor gummy bears.”
Needless to say, Xiao Ye’s Four Loko night was doomed from the start. Even before the SLA announced that the Loko would no longer flow inside state lines, Huang took to his blog to inform fans that the SLA had threatened endless police raids if he continued to sell Four Loko at the restaurant.
Now, with these threats also directed at the distributors bringing the drinks into the state, New York will have to find a new super-sweet caffeine-loaded low-cost booze concoction to fetishize. And Eddie Huang will need a new Thursday night theme for his bar.
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