Don’t Hate: Five Reasons Why It’s Okay to Like Four Loko

Four Loko is quite possibly the greatest thing to happen to bros everywhere since the invention of beer itself–23.5 ounces of 12% alcohol and enough caffeine to kill a horse in eight different flavors, all for around $2.50 a can. Trying it for the first time is like Christmas morning when you were 12, except instead of waking up to awesome presents, you wake up in a large puddle of vomit on your buddy’s lawn and a restraining order from the public library. Which, in many ways, is even better than Christmas when you were 12.

Unfortunately, Old People–who have been successfully running on a political platform of Banning All Fun since forever–have pressured four state legislatures into outlawing Four Loko, and the company that makes it announced yesterday they are reformulating the drink without caffeine. Which is what was so fun about it in the first place! The malt liquor brought the party, then the caffeine brought the bad decisions. They were a team. Now, Four Loko is Starsky running without Hutch, and unless you really like drinking Watermelon-flavored beer with subtle tasting notes of ballsweat, Four Loko is no longer Loko. Here’s five reasons why it was.

It’s Easy to Rap About

Since Four Loko is so strong it makes crunk juice look like baby formula, it follows that rappers would be on board to rhyme its praises. Search “four loko anthem” on YouTube and you’ll find an entire micro-genre of songs dedicated to the drink. Is Four Loko the most inspiring intoxicant for artists since Picasso drank absinthe? Well, Picasso never rhymed “ball” with “alcohol.” We’ll let you be the judge.

It’s for Serious, Cultured Drinkers

You won’t find sommeliers pairing Four Loko with gourmet dishes at five-star restaurants anytime soon, but alcohol aficionados with highly sensitive palettes can appreciate the expert flavoring techniques involved in masking the taste of an assload of malt liquor (especially if they write for The New York Times.) The drink imbues a dominant tone of high fructose corn syrup with an air of FDC Red 40; hints of cough syrup peek through, finishing off with the fantastically smooth taste of regret. This guy says it makes him want to “fist pump to reggaeton and annoy the shit out of my neighbors.” If I were the marketing director at this company, I’d slap that line on every single can and quit, because that is the best advertising for any alcoholic product, ever.

It’s Cheap

You get nearly five bottles of beer, two cups of coffee and a liquid Jolly Rancher slurry for $2.50. You know what’s even better than that? Getting nearly 10 bottles of beer, four cups of coffee and a liquid Jolly Rancher slurry for $5. This is simple economics, my friend. If that were a deal on Groupon, the FDA wouldn’t be banning it; the FDA would be dancing on a bar shirtless in the White House as Iggy Pop’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog” played, and the pictures on Facebook the next day would be hilarious. But oh no, put it all into one brightly-colored can that looks vaguely like a Mountain Dew product and all of a sudden it’s a “serious health concern.” You’re a serious health concern, FDA–to ragers and epic house parties nationwide.

It Inevitably Leads to Streaking

Various websites have popped up to chronicle the unbelievable antics that can follow a night spent with Loko. Streaking in front of your kids, then building a couch-cushion fort with your best friend at least a couple decades removed from the age when this would be appropriate? Who wouldn’t want to try this stuff? Four Loko: unlocking our nation’s trapped inner childhood since 2005.

It Turns You Into a Raving Lunatic

Everything in moderation, friends. This man is proof of the fact that three of one good thing doesn’t necessarily equal a better thing. In some cases, it’s actually a worse thing. But it does make for some pretty great internet videos. That’s way more than Natty Light can claim.

RIP, Four Loko. One day, we’ll tell our kids of a great time in history when one no longer had to manually combine their Red Bull and vodka. A glorious era where the alcohol flowed freely and nobody slept, because they were so hopped up on their crazy alcopop drinks, and the music was good and the hangovers unbearable. Then they’ll tell us to shut up and go to their rooms to drink Future Beer–which, at that point, will probably just be liquid cocaine–as we sit at our table and try to recreate the magic that once was.