Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | October 20, 2008

Red Bull Revamped

Little known fact: I am an energy drink fiend.

Okay, scratch that, that’s not by any means a little known fact. Just about everyone in my life from my grandma to my co-workers to my mailman has seen me chugging an energy drink at some point in the last few years.

In my defense, I only got addicted to these bad-boys in the name of journalism. Back in the day when I was a bright-eyed student on the campus of grand ole Minnesota State University and I thought that I wanted to embark on a career in the news field it seemed like a great idea to write a riveting article on the then-relatively-new fad of energy drinks. Granted, this came before I decided to derail any chance of writing professional for a career as an unpaid on-again, off-again blogger whilst moonlighting in a library at America’s finest technical institute. However, that’s neither here nor there, what really matters is that when I got hooked on the sweet-sweet menace that is energy drinks, it was all for a good cause.

The article came out during finals week and was a big ole multi-page story with a bad-ass graphic layout and detailed energy drinks to the fullest. The risks, the effects, the tastes, which ones provided the most bang for the buck and of course…the potential for energy drink addiction. Well that’s been about three years ago now and I’m still sucking these multi-dollar cans of highly-caffeinated chemicals down at an alarming rate, so needless to say the potential for energy drink addiction is pretty high…even if you’ve never had them before and you just have a one month ‘research period’ that involves you spending close to $100 to ingest every energy drink attainable in the great-Mankato, Minnesota, metro area..

Anywho, now that I’ve gone through that incredible long-winded introduction we can get to the meat and potatoes…or the caffeine and taurine if you will…of this lil’ bloggity-blog here.

Yesterday I ran to the store to get some Coke, vanilla extract and eggs. What I came back with was the following: Coke, vanilla extract, eggs, a tub of Cool Whip (shout-out to Taylor Swift), a pumpkin pie, Axe Body Spray, Axe Deodorant (yeah, I smell like a d-bag), a box of corn dogs and two cans of something I’d never seen before…Red Bull Cola!!

That’s right folks, in addition to being a horrendous impulse shopper, I’m also one of the first people in the United States to embark on the voyage of discovery that is…Red Bull Cola. Thus far Red Bull Cola was released largely overseas in places like Spain, Italy and Germany. In June it was only available in the United States at select hot spots in Atlanta and Las Vegas. Recently, however, Red Bull has begun sending out their freaky Mini Coopers in Boston, San Francisco and—of all places—Williamsburg, VA, to distribute the new beverage.

Given my horrendous addiction, I figured there’s no way I can’t try this stuff…especially if I’m one of the few people in America who can get his grubby lil’ mitts on it right now. What I’m finding amusing (whilst sniffing the first can) is that it smells sorta like diet Coke or diet Pepsi, but with a very distinct scent. It smells sort of metallic, but we’ll see what effect that has on the actual taste. I mean most energy drinks smell like death and only about three-quarters of them actually taste like it.

Whoa…okay, it tastes like a regular cola until the aftertaste sets in. It’s that quasi-metallic taste, but I think it’s got more to do with the ingredients. This stuff is claiming to be 100% natural, so let’s throw down the list of ingredients and see if we can figure out the origin of this aftertaste.

-Carbon dioxide
-Caramel sugar syrup
-Natural flavors from plant extracts: galangal, vanilla, mustard seed, lime, kola nut, cacao, licorice, cinnamon, lemon, ginger, coca leaf, orange, corn mint, pine, cardamom, mace, clove
-Caffeine from coffee beans and natural lemon juice concentrate.

Hmmmmmmm….let’s see I’m going to assume the taste is coming from one of these natural flavors. It’s got a bit of a cinnamon tinge to it. Although, let’s be honest…I don’t know what the hell cardamom or mace taste like and to be quite frank, I thought galangal was part of the female anatomy. I guess I’m just going to put the flavor on the combo of natural flavors. I mean come on who puts mustard seed, lime and vanilla together?! You’ve gotta be expecting some sort of weird flavor from that combination.

Okay, so let’s hit the important thing…the kick. We know that Red Bull gives you wings, but what does Red Bull Cola give you?! Well that’s a tough call thus far. I’ve had two cans and I’m only noticing a bit of a buzz. I guess I’d say that it gives me roller blades or maybe a pair of slightly used Chuck Taylors…but definitely not wings. Although I will say, it’s definitely got more zip than regular sodas. The makers are pimping Red Bull Cola as “strong and natural” and calling attention to the lack of phosphoric acid, preservatives, artificial colorings, and artificial flavors which many similar drinks contain.

All-in-all, not too shabby. At less than a buck-fifty a can it’s a pretty solid deal for what equates to a tasty, albeit watered down, version of Red Bull…but I think I’m going to stick to the real-deal. Like all good addicts, I need the good stuff floatin’ in these veins.


  1. Just an FYI: I’m noticing that the more of this stuff you drink, the more it grows on you. I think it just takes a while to get adjusted to a drink that isn’t all ubber-fake.


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