It wasn’t quite the California Gold Rush, but the rush on Four Loko this time last year marked the rise and fall of the alcohol and caffeine drink popular among college students.
But a year later its popularity has disappeared like the cans that once flew off of the shelves.
“I haven’t seen any since last year,” said John Ekshi, a Boston University senior. “No one really drinks it anymore.”
Last November, state officials banned sale of the drink and federal regulators declared the product a public health concern setting off a rush to nearby liquor stores that quickly sold out of the product.
In reaction, Four Loko said it would remove the caffeine and some other ingredients in the drink.
Since the controversy, the drink’s parent company, Phusion Projects, released new products including Poco Loko. The 16-ounce cans at 8 percent alcohol are a step down from the original 23.5-ounce cans that contained 12 percent alcohol by volume.
At the height of the Four Loko wave last year, a Brookline liquor store stocked a shelf with eight rows of Four Loko cans. Yesterday that same store stocked just two rows of the drink’s new formula.
A clerk at the store said it was “rare” for someone to buy it now and that the seven to 10 cases per week the store previously ordered were reduced to two cases every two months.
Replacing Four Loko?
Gummi Bears and tampons soaked in vodka are reportedly gaining popularity as ways college students and teens get drunk.
A YouTube video on how to make the alcohol-infused Gummi Bears had more than 106,000 views as of yesterday.
Another trend – women inserting vodka-soaked tampons in their vaginas – was reported by several media outlets, though primary sources for the trend are hard to find.
Huffington Post blogger Danielle Crittenden tried it herself. She described the feeling as “firewater” and said she eventually felt lightheaded.
Diala Savut, a Boston University senior, said using tampons to get drunk was “really weird.”
“If you really wanted to feel that way, I think there’s other ways to get drunk,” she said.