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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Drank Extreme Relaxation Beverage

We at the Weird Soda Review Lab, being sober, serious types, tend to observe societal trends and memes from a detached and analytical perspective. "This new thing, which all of the young folk are doing," we ask, "what is its nature? Is it virtuous? Does it contribute to wholeness of soul and body?" For example, it has recently come to our attention that something called "Nyan Cat" has spread its influence over the internet. Despite our curiosity about this, we have not yet gone in search of it for two reasons.

1. We hear it involves rainbows and singing. As sober, serious types, we are suspicious of such indications of possible frivolity and lightheartedness. Hi-ho, round-the-maypole, tra-la-la-here-we-go-wibbling and all that. Humph.

2. "Nyan Cat" is dangerously close to sounding like "Nyarlathotep". As an entity with a thousand forms, each more monstrous and sanity-shaking than the last, Nyarlathotep can be a tricky one. A rainbow-spewing, flying kitty doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility as an Avatar of the Dark One.

Oh, what the heck. *Google*

Huh. I didn't expect the Pop Tart body. I don't think my sanity is particularly threatened, though...if it is Nyarlathotep himself, he's got some work ahead of him before he cameow meow MEOW meow MEOWmeowmeowmeowMEOWmeowMEOWMEOWmeowMEOWmeow...


Oh God...the things I have seen...

As I was saying, we are skeptical about cultural memes. Another amusing example is the EXTREME EVERYTHING movement, which has somewhat petered out in the last few years. For a while there, everything was extreme. It seemed that there could never be a thing worth doing which was not worth doing in an "extreme" fashion. A favorite of ours (which was poking fun at the whole thing) was this ad.

No activity, no matter how self-contradictory, was immune from being Extremed. And today we have the logical endpoint of the phenomenon: Drank Extreme Relaxation Beverage.

Drank (third from the left) pictured along with alternate methods for Extreme Relaxation. The Kibbitzer, who has a degree in literature, wishes to express her dissatisfaction with the inclusion of the leftmost item.

The name is especially intriguing. I would have expected the imperative form of the verb, i.e. "Drink". Such a name would be taken as a command to the person browsing the soda aisle, presumably increasing sales. On the other hand, perhaps that isn't specific enough; a general command to "Drink!" might result in the one receiving it simply seizing the nearest beverage.
The past-tense form gives an odd cast to the message. Is it implying that the drinking has already occurred, in a "why question fate/disrupt the timeline" sort of way?

Time to call our Wikipedia skills into play. Let's see..."Nyan Cat"...wait. No! NO NO NO!

Ah. That explains it.

Apparently, "Drank" can also refer to a brew consumed by youths who have insufficient respect for their elders. It consists of codeine and promethazine (from cough syrup), Jolly Ranchers, and soda, mixed into a sort of punch. It is evidently often made with grape candy and grape cough syrup, and thus is often known as "purple drank". It is associated with the hip-hop scene, and is linked to several deaths. I'm presuming that this contains neither codeine or promethazine, but maybe I'd better check the ingredients.
Nope. A bunch of B-complex vitamins, valerian root, melatonin, and sugar. This hardly seems to qualify as "extreme".

So what we have here is a Weird soda, clearly made to resemble or refer to an illicit and dangerous recreational drug, which makes claim to "extreme-ness" but is instead a can of vitamin-fortified herbal-supplement sugar water. *sigh* Kids these days. Get off my lawn.

Where and when: I have no idea where I got this or when. It's been in the fridge for months.
Color: You know, lavender doesn't really seem suitable for a beverage claiming Extreme heritage. Kind of pretty, though. Transparent.
K-i-C: "I'd say orchid."
Scent: Fairly strong, sweet, with berries being the dominant note. A strong contribution by something tart.
K-i-C: "You don't look relaxed."
Me: "But do I look extreme?"
K-i-C: "Smells like bug juice."
This catches me off guard, and makes me think I may have missed a chapter in my beloved's past. Did I marry Bear Grylls?
K-i-C: "Bug juice is extremely watered-down Kool-Aid."

Actually, that might be a good way to market homeopathic drugs. "Try new homeopathic digitalin, now in EXTREME 1,000,000,000-fold DILUTION!"

Taste: Huh. The taste isn't as strong as I would have guessed. It's sweet, but the rose hips add a lot of sour. There's an immediate but slight herbal bitterness, mild but present, which lingers a bit at the sides along with the sour. K-i-C: *grimace* *shrug* "Tastes like Fanta."

This is unimpressive. It's just not very interesting; it's not so much that it tastes bad, but I can't think of any reason why I would want to drink it. This is a beverage meant to appeal to those interested in or familiar with a dangerous homebrewed drug, but which will do nothing except (maybe) make you a bit sleepy, and which doesn't actually taste good. I'm not interested in the drug, and if I want to be sleepy, I just need to stay up late playing Mass Effect 2 or watching Deep Space Nine with the Kibbitzer. And that's a heck of a lot more fun.

Quaff rating: 1.5. Almost completely uninteresting to drink. Mildly interesting as a reference to sociocultural events.
Cough rating: 1.0. The herbal tastes are not especially pleasant.


  1. Actually, valerian root is one of the few "herbal supplement" foods that truly can be dangerous. And combining it with melatonin... well, let's just say I wouldn't risk drinking that drank without my doctor and pharmacist both signing off on it. Not that I'd want to chug the other sort of purple drank, either; but the reasoning for that reluctance is similar, merely reinforced by the illegality issue rather than relying entirely upon it.


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