It will be a muggy afternoon in June 2064. My grandchildren will come up to my patio after a rousing game of Robot Tag and see a faint sweat breaking above my brow. Calmly, I reach into the future cooler next to me and pull out a Watermelon Four Loko.
“Don’t worry kids,” I explain to their uninterested little faces, “your PawPaw figured out the remedy for everything long ago in a faraway land called college.” Before they can even check their iPhone 91S-Plus’, I will crack open my elixir and launch into a diatribe about the greatest Four Loko flavors.
9. Fruit Punch
I would rather go through every Saw “test” then pound one of these. “Sure cut off my hands, Jigsaw, just don’t make me drink that.” I had a buddy shotgun one of these once, and I haven’t trusted him since. Guy clearly signed a deal with the devil.
Just drink Mike’s Hard!! I never thought those words would come out of my mouth, but drinking one of these is seriously not worth it at all. More punishment than pleasure, the Lemonade Loko deserves its own episode of Survivorman. Honestly, let’s see if Les Stroud can stomach one of these before succumbing to puckered-lip overdose.
7. Blue Hurricane
Give it a sip, realize the flavor was good for 10 minutes, and never speak of it again. Forreal though, there is more sugar in one of these than a baker’s dozen of glazed Dunkin Donuts.
6. Tie: Mango and Coco Loco
Objectively, these are two awful Four Loko flavors. But I must acknowledge that “real recognize real,” and give them props for their rarity. Locating a store with either of these flavors is like finding Nicholas Cage in a critically-praised film: it is never going to happen ever again, so take advantage. You just can’t pass up the opportunity.
5. Strawberry Lemonade
Start with two pounds of Smarties’ Candy. Throw in a mason jar of sugar and half a bottle of lemon juice. Squirt the other half into your eyes. In the temporarily blindness, crush the mixture with a sledgehammer. Add water and drink.
Do you like pounding $5 bottles of red wine? Allow me to play matchmaker and introduce you to the Grape Four Loko. It is the equivalent of deviously mixing together El Gato, Fisheye, and Barefoot in Satan’s blender. You can do better than this unless you’re a hardcore wine-o. Grape will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was the first Loko I ever sampled. Yes, it took my L-Card.
3. Black Cherry
You know when you’re hitting it off with a guy/girl at the bar who’s way of out of your league? And you don’t end up hooking up with them, but still get with their pretty hot friend? And still wake up very happy in the morning? This is the Black Cherry Four Loko. Sunoco was all out of both Watermelon and Peach, so you had to play the best deck with what you were handed. Black Cherry is not bad and will bring back childhood memories; it has a strong kick of children’s cough syrup mixed in (probably).
Packs more punch than Ron Artest, Shovel Girl, and Floyd Mayweather combined. There have been a couple instances of me having a Peach Four Loko open in a fairly sizable space, only for people to approach me and remark how pungent my drink is. True, the odor of paint thinner is bordering on a CDC disaster. But if you can plug your nostrils, the power of this drink is undisputed and the aftertaste is shockingly calm.
Oh, sweet liberation. The Cubans had Che Guevara; for the Americans, George Washington. But when regular people search for a hero to release them from the wrought-iron chains of sobriety, there can only be one: the Watermelon Four Loko. Its sweet, summery taste hooks you like bass fisherman, before dropping you off inches above a gentle throw-pillow of tartness.
I tell you, there will come a point where you will be faced with a decision: Do I pregame with this terrible Four Loko or roll up to the party as sober as a Mormon during finals week? Pick the first option and heed this list as law. As it is written, may it forever be.