Here's a guest column by Travis, the man who brought us the mystery sandwich.
This is a food blog, so I’m not going to waste your time ranting about the social and cultural consequences of glamorizing the recreational use of cough syrup. There are plenty of articles that do just that and I couldn’t care less if Lil’ Wayne openly drinks codeine. Provided he never tries to make another rock album, he can do whatever he wants (love you, Weezy).
Drank and Sippin Syrup are two relatively new products marketed as ‘the anti-Red Bull,’ a drink to calm and relax an increasingly stressed-out public. Suffering from a bit of anxiety myself, I was excited to find that 7-Eleven stores started carrying Drank. I bought a can on a particularly hungover Sunday morning a couple of months ago. The cashier warned me not to ‘drive on that stuff,’ but a visit to the parents was in order. My initial thought was that the taste was not unlike a light grape soda mixed with a little potpourri. Surprisingly good, actually.
I finished the can in a few minutes, not really considering the possible effects. By the time I arrived at the ‘rents I was overcome by a buzz similar to that of a waning weed high. I stared at the refrigerator at length before realizing the bottle of water I was looking for was right in front of me. I took a three-hour nap. The can promised 'extreme relaxation,' but I might refer to the effect as 'mild anesthesia.'
I’ve had Drank a few times since then. If you’re feeling stressed or looking for a good night’s sleep, it’s a nice occasional treat. I wouldn’t suggest drinking it every night, however, as one of its main ingredients is the same stuff your brain uses to tell your body when it’s nighttime. Probably don’t want to mess around with that too much.
In the other corner we have Sippin Syrup, a ‘beverage’ created in the same vein as Drank—same color, same philosophy, same inextricable link to cough syrup and southern rap. However, the discrepancy in quality between the two products is evident from the second you uncap the Syrup. I was blown away by the stench of bum wine as a good friend pleaded with me not to drink it. ‘IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE,’ I insisted. The night is a bit of a blur after that.
As I write this, a half-empty bottle sits on the table next to me, topped off with vague memories of headache and restlessness. Sippin Syrup tasted exactly how it smelled and it was only consumable small sips. It was more viscous than Drank. It didn’t make me any calmer and I’m pretty sure I forgot how to work the TV at some point.
I was given fair warning and ignored it. ‘Don’t drink that, it has to be full of arsenic. I want to vomit just thinking about it.’ Don’t repeat my mistake. If you want to experiment with these so-called relaxation beverages, make it Drank. Better yet, crush up a couple Benadryl in a glass of grape soda and achieve the same effect.