Surprise! Turns out caffeine and alcohol aren't exactly a match made in heaven. Recent research put out by the University of Florida says that not only do you actually get drunker when you combine the two but you're also four times as likely to think you're cool to drive afterward. Yikes. A Scottish political party--claiming a link between caffeinated alcohol and violence--has even started making moves to limit the amount of caffeine in certain premade alcoholic drinks. So while it may just be a matter of time before drinks like Sparks go the way of Orbitz, candy cigarettes, and tan M&Ms, that doesn't mean you can't still mix up a toxic brew of your favorite vices on your own. Here's our Top 5:
1. Cuba Libres. It's a drink for all seasons. Rum + Coke + a couple fat lime wedges = winter comfort or summer soothe or just flat-out year-round refreshment. The heavy sweetness of the rum is cut by the carbonation in the Coke and enlivened by the acidiity and brightness of the citrus. Salud!
2. Arnie Palmers. The half iced tea, half lemonade drink is tremendous on its own, but made even kickier with a splash of vodka (and how about some triple sec too?). Don't be afraid of going a little low brow either and using Mike's Hard Lemonade instead. Plus, hey, you'd be killing two birds with one stone.
3. Wine & Coke. Don't hate! This under-the-radar Spanish and South American street specialty is a great sipper for a day outside. Want a little change-up? Try mixing the wine with orange Fanta. Or instead of Coke, try RC Cola. Seriously! And don't forget the ice!
4. Irish coffee. So simple. So warming. So dessert-like. Irisih coffee somehow makes you feel wiser, more in touch with your ancestors or something. Crazy but true. It's a a nice way to round out a long winter night at a bar. No reason it can't still round out a long winter night at home though too.
5. Vodka Red Bull. No list of caffeinated alcoholic beverages would be complete without the frightening, chartreuse-hued vodka Red Bull. You just gotta sorta admire how balls-out this drink is. It looks like Mr. Clean, it tastes like hairspray, yet it cares not. It has a job and it gets the job done.