Purple Drank Experiment
By Frank Overby


rank gets a lot of people excited. Maybe it’s because most of us don’t hang out in Houston basements, tripping on codeine and promethazine, listening to UGK with the tempo slider all the way to the bottom. Or maybe it’s just because of Lil’ Wayne’s success. Dude walks up to courtside seats at a Lakers game, sipping purple like it’s Kool Aid, and no one tells him that outside food and beverages are banned inside the Staples Center. It’s as big as codeine abuse can get, and it’s getting worse.

The Innovative Beverage Group has released an “anti-energy” drink in the United States called Drank which comes in a purple can and is marketed to slow one’s roll and cause its users to lean. Since this stuff isn’t available or legal in Canada, we got some sent across the border to a Toronto address to see if this stuff actually works. After one failed delivery, we received five cans. Of course, we had to try the real thing first.

The active ingredients in the real purple drank are codeine and promethazine. The latter is not available over the counter in Canada as it is an illegal narcotic. Our pharmacist friends would have to do some safe-cracking to get it for us, and to be honest, we were too impatient to let that happen. Instead, we broke down some Tylenol 2s for their precious codeine and whipped up a mixture of grape Fanta, cough syrup, vodka, and liquid codeine. It tasted way too good.

After chilling it on ice and sitting back down to iChat and Tha Carter III Chopped and Screwed, the purple drink started to slow things down. There was a lot of slurred speech, blank stares, confusion, and halted urination. Yeah, it’s impossible to pee on sizzurp. The effects lasted close to four hours, and they accelerated our drunkenness that evening, leaving us with a strange epiphany of a hangover the next morning. Overall, it’s a pretty awesome time, though we’re not recommending you make it or try it ever.

A couple of days later, we broke out a few cans of Drank in its American convenience store form. The drink’s sedative qualities come from valerian root and rose hip, two hippie ingredients known to cause drowsiness. The stuff tastes pretty good; grape and lightly carbonated. At first, we laughed off the purported effects of drowsiness. We felt fine, and while the drink did taste like a slightly fruity chemistry set, we were certain it wasn’t go- ing to slow us down. Well, we drank the stuff around five, and by ten that night, everyone who tried it was passed out in front of The Big Lebowski or in mid-conversation with their girlfriend. We’re not sure that we can reccomend it, but if you do find yourself in a convenience store down south and you need a sleep remedy, might as well get chopped and screwed legally. If you do go for the real thing, just don’t end up like Pimp C.

Originally published in Winter 2008, Issue 3.1.