Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Four! With Wormwood

The other day a friend asked me if I'd heard of a new energy drink with wormwood, the base ingredient for absinthe. Absinthe makes me think of goth kids in college and English majors long past. But as with all things -- 80s fashion, chunky shoes, bangs -- what's out of style is back again and cool this time.

The drink? Four from Chicago-based Phusion Projects, billed as a berry-flavored malted energy drink with a 6 percent alcohol content and, yes, you clever marketing-savvy folks, four main ingredients: wormwood, caffeine, taurine, and guarana.

Founder Chris Hunter has dubbed it the "original body buzz beverage" in press reports including a test-drive in Chicago's Metromix. The founders -- former Ohio University grads -- launched the drink in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois last spring. But what about the wormwood? (from the Athens News):

Wormwood oil is one of the primary ingredients in Absinthe, a drink that has been popular in Europe over the years, especially among the arts and poetry crowd, and is now gaining popularity with American consumers on the Internet. It has been illegal in the United States since Prohibition. Rumors have circulated that Absinthe makes users hallucinate, sparking even more curiosity among online shoppers.Wright downplayed these notions.

"Absinthe did make people hallucinate in the 1700s and 1800s, but that was strictly due to the process in manufacturing the Absinthe," he said. "Absinthe was being brewed in bathtubs and in other contaminated facilities, which resulted in people getting sickly and even hallucinating." The makers of Four recently sought and obtained government approval to include wormwood oil as one of its ingredients.

However, Four's creators insist the drink doesn't cause hallucinations, just a body buzz and possible aphrodisiac effect.

Phusion launched the drink in Indy over Final Four weekend. No word yet on where to find it, but I'll keep an eye out and report back.


Anonymous said...

Four can be found at the 21st Amendment store on N Meridian St downtown.

braingirl said...

Thanks for the pointer!

Anonymous said...

four is the worst tasting, weakest drink i've ever had....completely disgusting

Anonymous said...

I second that...so gross! and the "wormwood" is all marketing because its the fda approved (no thujone which gives you the hallucinations Absinthe is known for) don't waste ur money