We Review Drank, The "Anti-Energy" Drank

As soon as we heard about Drank, the anti-energy drink that promises to “slow your roll,” we knew we had to try it. After searching around New Orleans for a while, we were directed to a gas station in Tremé. We brought a few cans home, put on some Three 6 Mafia, and drank some Drank.

The Discount Zone where we bought the Drank seemed as excited about it as we were. They had a large poster in the front window that advised us that consuming Drank may “cause one to lean.” When we made our way to the beverage coolers, we found fake VIP passes allowing one to be part of the “official Drank crew.”

Then our excitement took a big hit: Drank costs $3 per can, plus tax. Still, we wanted to find out how it tasted and if it actually had any soporific effect, so we proceeded.

Drank contains several roll-slowing supplements: valerian root, melatonin, and rose hips. Oh, and lots of high-fructose corn syrup. My fiancee is getting a Pharm.D., and she helpfully went on Lexi-Comp to check these ingredients out. What follows is not medical advice, and may not be entirely accurate, as I was leaning pretty hard while I took notes on what she was saying.

Valerian Root: Used for restlessness and sleep disorders. The effect is in the same class (anxiolytic) as Xanax and Valium, but considerably weaker. Valerian root is what the doctor in Fight Club advised Tyler Durden to chew when he couldn’t sleep. Taking it with alcohol increases the “risk” of sedation. Seems pretty legitimate.

Melatonin: We release melatonin throughout the day, and supplements may help regulate deficiencies that might occur from jet lag or other sleep disorders. My fiancee says, “Some study found that melatonin gives you a rash on your junk, and it took 10 days to go away.” Apparently the proper medical term for this is “fixed drug eruption.”

Rose hips: Rose hips are pretty much worthless, but they contain a lot of vitamin C and may help prevent urinary tract infections, which is a common affliction among certified gangstas.

We did two taste tests: first we drank Drank straight, then later at night we mixed it with vodka to see if it was an acceptable anti-substitute for Red Bull (yes, we know Red Bull and vodka is disgusting, but we were curious if Vodka Drank would be just as gross or something worse). After pouring two Dranks, neat, I inhaled deeply. It had a distinctly grapey bouquet with a grapish nose tastes like grape soda. Nothing but grape soda. When you mix it with vodka, it tastes like vodka and grape soda, although it reminded me more of a Sparks than Red Bull and vodka. Anyone buying Drank for taste is probably better off spending $3 on grape soda, which would probably purchase a few liters.

After my first drink of Drank, I felt pretty sleepy. I’d only been up for three hours, but I ended up taking a sixty-minute nap. This was probably a placebo effect, and there were several confounding variables that dispel any causality, e.g., my couch is really comfortable, my dogs were already napping on the couch, and joining them looked like a good idea. So the first Drank drinking was inconclusive. When I mixed a drink of Drank with vodka and drank that Drank drink, I didn’t feel anything. Nonetheless, I went to bed almost five hours earlier than I did the night before, and was only up for about eleven hours total. I really hope that was the effect of Drank; otherwise I’m a lazy sloth.

It’s probably no surprise—Drank isn’t worth it. Three dollars is pretty expensive for a can of sugar water, so unless its supplements actually work, it’s a rip off. The effects are nowhere near what I’ve experienced when I’ve been prescribed opiates like Vicodin or Codeine; it’s not even comparable to doxylamine succinate, the sedative found in NyQuil and some over-the-counter sleeping pills, although there was no groggy hangover the next morning. Bottom line: if you’re looking for the taste of Drank, buy some grape soda; if you’re looking for the effects of Drank, have a glass of red wine.


Edit Your Comment

  1. You deserve a Pulitzer.

  2. Puck says:

    You know my rose hips don’t lie, and i’m startin’ to feel ya boy

  3. That’s Orson Swindle-esque product testing.


  4. Daemon_of_Waffle says:

    So you drank Drank and drink didn’t get you drunk. That’s Crunk.

  5. JoeTan says:

    Good write up! You are correct, anyone over 21 need not apply to these nonsense energy or anti-energy drinks when we can get wine 2 for $10 and get T to the ANKED in a hurry.

  6. Egg Yolkeo says:

    Just buy some Valerian root online or from an herb store. Soak it in vodka in a jar in the sun (seriously) for a couple weeks. Drain the vodka into a medicine dropper bottle through a funnel and add a few drops of the tincture to your favorite herbal tea. I’ve used it to help me sleep and I wake up feeling super chilled-out.

    Warning: may smell like feet.

  7. egosub2 says:

    I think it’s like the fake ecstasy scene in “Go”: It works better if you smoke lots of weed while you’re dranking it.

  8. Triborough says:

    I think I’d go with the more traditional anti-energy drink – a Manhattan.

  9. Dagamon says:

    Possibly the best written review I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot.

  10. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I’d love to be at the design meeting…”what flavor should we make this drink for our target demographic?” “Grape drink!” Something about that just strikes me as stereotyping.

  11. SkokieGuy says:

    Besides the health reasons to avoid high fructose corn syrup (and the artifical flavorings and colorings) HFC, like any sugar is a stimulant. This kinda negates the effects of the valerian.

    Melatonin must be taken on a regular basis, and timed in relation to night and day, to help your sleep cycle. It’s often recommended for international travelers to reset their internal clocks, but it has to be used in a specific wall.

    I suspect that both the valerian and melatonin are in token amounts anyhow.

    All that being said, I don’t want to buy a product that requires a slang dictionary to understand the product benefits. Slow my roll? I see potential marketing opportunities for a whole family o products. What about a drink to brake my biscuit? Make my croissant crawl? Make my crepe creep?

  12. jwlukens says:

    God why did I read this? Now I must have some for my own trials!

  13. RabbitDinner says:

    @AlteredBeast: Seems like a conscious nod to Chapelle, putting it in a purple can. And not to mention the name itself, while the correct past tense of drink, is clearly ebonics

  14. Alex Chasick says:

    @White Speed Receiver: That is a great review. Maybe Drank should advertise that it inspires the blogger’s inner poet.

  15. Shark1998 says:

    @RabbitDinner: Really? All that is missing are the Grape Flavored Stoggies (awesome blunt wrappers) and some watermelon starbursts and a brother is set.

  16. Alex Chasick says:

    @SkokieGuy: Yes, I forgot to mention-although I hope everyone realizes- that having HFCS be the biggest ingredient besides water probably negates whatever effect the other stuff might cause.

  17. yajjo says:

    @AlteredBeast: If they were stereotyping the flavor would have been called ‘purple’.

  18. VA_White says:

    @RabbitDinner: It is a nod to Britney Spears who, at the depths of her craziness, used to mix up cough syrup, soda, and various other chemicals and called it her “Purple Drank,” the “drank” being “drink” pronounced with a distinct southern accent.

  19. Ayo says:

    They have this stuff all over Houston, considering H-town is the leaning capital of the world. I miss New Orleans.

    Ha, New Or”LEANS”.

  20. thebluepill says:

    Grape Soda

    Liquid Valerian root Extract (2oz): $11.59

    Liquid Melatonin (2oz): $7.98

    Rose Hips (4oz): $16.97

    $36.54 for Supliments
    + Grape Soda, Mix to taste/Strength


    12-pack of Drank: $36

  21. VA_White says:


    Britney Spears makes a special “purple drank” that’s a mix of Diet Sprite, prescription-strength cough syrup with coedine, and sometimes painkillers. She also takes the anti-depressant Zoloft and sleep aid Ambien, which is why she’s often spaced-out. A source says “she brags to everyone about her ‘purple drank'”

  22. Ayo says:

    @Egg Yolkeo: This is like the refried beans of moonshine… Mo-moonshine i guess.

  23. Parapraxis says:



  24. rockstarjoe says:

    Awesome. I wish I was a blogger, sleeping on the couch with the dogs and getting paid the big blogger bucks.

    Did you try setting it on fire a la a Flaming Moe (or more accurately a Flaming Homer)?

  25. Ben Popken says:

    Excellent review. I’m sure it’s hard to come up with a legal equivalent to mixing grape soda with cough syrup, but darn if they didn’t try.

  26. lymanjt says:

    “When I mixed a drink of Drank with vodka and drank that Drank drink, I didn’t feel anything.”

    This will go down in history as the best sentence that was ever written on the Consumerist.

    Congrats. You win an internet.

  27. ekthesy says:

    Anyone remember “scissor”–it was a big fad in hip-hop clubs in the South in the late 90s. I think it was cough syrup and orange soda…and I vaguely remember Three Six Mafia wrote a song about it.

    Of course, it was the late 90s and my memory…he not so good, eh?

  28. Fuzz says:

    Or you could put some golf on tv, smoke a joint and eat some Doritos. Much more effective.

  29. @Egg Yolkeo: I used to put Valerian root tea bags in my Ex’s car when we were going out. Let them brew over night, or in the school parking lot all day, and I would get angry text messages. My GOD did they smell like feet.

  30. Difdi says:

    Saying valerian root is weaker than Valium is misleading.

    Comparing the sedative effects of a Valium tablet to the same quantity of valerian root, you would see the root as weaker.

    Comparing the same quantities of highly refined valerian extract to Valium though, produces different results. Refined valerian extract can be every bit as effective, milligram for milligram, as Valium. And one of the more interesting characteristics of valerian is the sedative chemical works with skin contact, it doesn’t need to be ingested.

  31. cjones27 says:

    Just started selling it here in Texas, and some friends and I tried it. Smoking and drinking are definitely more effective, and combined with either, works really well for a chill night. If you need some sleep and don’t want a hangover or medicine that lasts a long time, it’s pretty effective. It’s like a light body high. Definitely not a “hey, let’s have a Drank and then go to a party” beverage, though.

  32. Alex Chasick says:

    @ekthesy: I think you mean “sizzurp,” on which Three 6 Mafia was sippin’.

  33. RabbitDinner says:

    @VA_White: WTF with the drug abuse? How come Heath Ledger can’t get away with it but she can

  34. antispoon says:

    @Egg Yolkeo:
    @Git Em SteveDave: In the extensive research I did while we were “reviewing” drank, I came across a few scholarly references to the “dirty sock” smell of valerian root. It’s legit.

  35. Farquar says:

    @AlteredBeast: Drank, the purple color, the flavor, all come from the ‘real’ drank, which is some ‘street’ conconction that has killed at least two prominent rappers. (I use the word prominent very loosely)

  36. Egg Yolkeo says:


    When I’ve used it, I’ve mixed it with Chamomile, which smells kind of funky anyway, IMO.

    Fun fact #2: My cats love the dried root more than catnip.

  37. AngryEwok says:

    The most known unknown has an anti-energy drink? Awesome!

  38. kc-guy says:

    A single (25mg) Benadryl = the ‘PM’ Tylenol and Advil PM. Two of them = a Unisom softgel sleeping pill.

    Toss in a few more, and you have a recreational hallucinogenic.

  39. temporaryerror says:

    @Alex Chasick:
    “I got the red promethazine, the orange and yellow tuss. Hydrocodone on the hands free phone”. Lyrical genius I tell you! (That’s one of the more memorable lines from the song “Sippn’ on some Sizzurp”)

  40. @Alex Chasick: Now that I’ve seen a link to Jezebel along with Britney and Three6Mafia references on Consumerist, I shall retire from The Interwebs.

    /Meaning I’m not going to be productive for a while
    //Not Drank induced

  41. D-Bo says:

    Three 6 Mafia reference on the Consumerist ftmfw!

  42. m1k3g says:

    Valerian root caps cost about $10 for 250. It’s the perfect relaxer, I find. 1 or 2 a day puts me in a really nice mood. I don’t mind the dirty sock small/taste, I think of it as more like the smell of Italian spice…

  43. TVarmy says:

    @AlteredBeast: Isn’t the street mixture mainly cough syrup?

  44. mzhartz says:

    @SkokieGuy: @Alex Chasick: I agree, the HFCS makes it pointless.

  45. @TVarmy: It’s ‘Tussin!

  46. Coming next month: ANTIDON’T, the two in one anti-anti energy and anti-energy beverage that will negate the effects of both Drank and Red Bull, restoring your energy level to a perfectly normal state as though you had consumed nothing at all.

    “The poison is free… but how much would you pay for the ANTIDON’T?”

  47. Snakeophelia says:

    Valerian Root “may” smell like feet?? DOES smell like feet. That stuff is the nastiest smelling root ever. Whatever you do, don’t leave any of it exposed in a warm area, like your kitchen counter, or your car. I know someone who spilled some in her back seat before going on vacation, and she finally had to sell the car just to get away from the smell.

    Another friend of mine sews it into sachet bags/toys for kitties – they LOVE the smell. My older cat will actually hold the bag against her head and drool all over it. Yick.

  48. drjayphd says:


    + Watch video

    NOT obligatory, but even funnier:

    + Watch video


  49. opazhman says:

    Try the actual thing. Prometh with Codeine is no joke

  50. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @RabbitDinner: Maybe because Heath did enough to kill an adult water buffalo?

  51. TacoChuck says:

    My opinion on the HFCS comments is that you are incorrect about it having a stimulant effect. Usually a short time after ingesting a large amount of sugar your body has produced enough insulin to actually drop your blood sugar below what it was when you started, leading to loss of energy.

  52. edebaby says:

    I made it to the bottom of the comments and I’m still laughing out loud.
    Best product review on Consumerist.

  53. Do I see some totally badass borosilicate double old fashioned glasses in the picture? They’re definitely not heavy base.

  54. mavrc says:

    “When I mixed a drink of Drank with vodka and drank that Drank drink, I didn’t feel anything.”

    I love this sentence far too much.

  55. Jesse in Japan says:

    What’s the dosage of melatonin in there? Five or six milligrams is enough to knock the average person out.

  56. organicgardener says:

    “When I mixed a drink of Drank with vodka and drank that Drank drink”…

    Dr. Suess, awesome!

  57. antispoon says:

    @Jesse in Japan: Each can contains 2 mg of melatonin total but the serving size suggested by the people at Drank is only half of the can. There was also a warning on the side not to drink more than two servings per day or else you might lean too far or even stop your roll.

  58. This is an excellent and informative feature, truly what Consumerist is all about.

  59. nsv says:

    The first (and last) time I tried valerian root, I slept like a rock.

    I also had nightmares all night.

    What fun. Especially when you can’t quite wake up.

    My guess is that there’s much less valerian in this stuff. But I’m not going anywhere near it.

  60. lucabrazi says:


  61. Aisley says:

    If you want something that will really chill you down drive or walk to the closest Hispanic store and ask for “Linden Tea”. It comes in a package that cost, on average $0.99 and it is way more powerful than Valeriana.

    In regards to “Drank”, it works, and it works fine. When I read that it costs $3.00 I thought….that I….what the ….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  62. RodAox says:

    RED BULL VODKA RULEZ! If you are trying to get drunk without tasting alcohol then you should not be in the business of drinking spirits… l actually enjoy the taste of both vodka and red bull…. I might also actually be an alcoholic so who knows…

  63. Counterpoint says:

    This was the most worthless article ever, and the only redeeming part was the I’mma gunna buyou…. a Draaaank video.

    So you bought the product, went to sleep twice after drinking it, and proclaimed it worthless? Yes, the product is likely crap, but how can you come to that conclusion from your test unless you set about writing a column disparaging that product from the beginning?

  64. Preppy6917 says:

    Is this why everyone drives so slow in the Tremé? I just always thought they were stoned…

  65. ninjatoddler says:

    That’s why you gotta git some chicks and “BUY YOU A DRANK!”

  66. SunnyLea says:
  67. VeeKaChu says:

    @SkokieGuy: Can’t believe you missed ‘Stun Yer Bun’.

  68. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Egg Yolkeo: Yep. Alternately, you can use water, though making a traditional hot tea is (as I understand it) not the best thing for preserving its properties.

    And yes, it smells and tastes like dirt. Or feet. I’ve found, though, that it mixes quite well with Bushmill’s Black Bush, which tastes like alcoholic feet.

  69. Ghede says:

    @defeatism: What is it with people and Pulitzer on this site? Is it some kind of new sarcastic meme?

  70. Trai_Dep says:

    I haven’t seen so many “drank”s since my fifteenth birthday party (parents foolishly left the house: what is the worst that could happen? What?!
    Here’s hoping our corporate overlords “keep it real” with a FDA-friendly version of glue-sniffing next (scratch-n-sniff!) followed by a horse equivalent in Pixie Straws, called “Doherty”.

    All I know? Alex, you’re cordially invited to my next party. We’ll try to brew up something with a stronger kick for you than Drank.
    And boy are we well-practiced!

  71. mikells43 says:

    gotta love that vicodin vrrriiinnnggg vrrriiinnnggg vrrrriiiinnnggg . i loved it too much as a result i would do anything to get it. things are better now tho. grape soda

  72. Meathamper says:

    I drink Bawls with vodka. So what?

  73. Asvetic says:

    Gotta love this hard hitting investigative reporting…

  74. Snowlovers says:

    “Valerian root is what the doctor in Fight Club advised Tyler Durden to chew when he couldn’t sleep.”

    I’m surprised no one has pointed out yet that the doctor didn’t tell Tyler Durden to chew on Valerian root – he told “The Narrator” to chew it. Duh.

  75. quickstrike says:

    I needs this “EL YESTERDAY” it will help get through those…”let’s move the couch over here” discussions with the misses

  76. Toof_75_75 says:

    “When I mixed a drink of Drank with vodka and drank that Drank drink” <– My hero!

    This stuff sounds ridiculous. If you really want nearly the exact possible effects of this Drank drink, just go buy a bottle of Valerian Root capsules and take a few of those…

  77. maevro says:

    You want to lean? Get some methadone or fentanyl and I promise you will lean.

    Damn, for $1 I can get a large Arizona can of Grapeade, for $3 I can have a party.

  78. savvy999 says:

    $3 is only two St. Ides away from sleepytime.

    Excellent review, Consumerist. I would like to hawk my own liver for testing the next round of pseudopharmadrinks.

  79. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @defeatism: plus 1!

  80. ThunderRoad says:

    Just pop a melatonin if you need to sleep or relax. It takes the edge off and you don’t feel groggy in the morning.

  81. cellophane says:

    @AlteredBeast: I wonder if fake grape is the only flavor that covered up the awfulness of Valerian. My aunts used to mix it with mint leaves before boiling it into a tea and it was still the most wretched thing I’ve ever smelled/tasted.

    So congratulations Drank if you can make that stuff drinkable. Children of old school European Peasants around the world will thank you.

  82. allthatsevil says:

    I’ve been an insomniac most of my life and recently started on a medication that made it much worse. I started taking melatonin, I think in 3 mg doses, each night and it’s made a huge difference.

    There’s really no sleepy period before falling asleep. I’m awake, and then I’m asleep. So using it recreationally doesn’t really make sense.

    It does give you very vivid and strange dreams though. Last night I was hanging from a helicopter with Jon Favreau. The night before I was making salad with Marilyn Manson when a worm came out of the lettuce and chased us around. He screams like a girl, by the way.

  83. SJActress says:


    Are you referring to that noise in your ears whilst under the influence of Vicodin?

    I thought I was the only one who experienced that!

  84. jrobie says:

    The AVClub did this first.


    The real question is whether you’ll man up and face the Rain.

  85. wesrubix says:

    This is such crap. Your fiancee better do some more homework. Melatonin is a natural sleep aid supplement, and is trusted and recommended by many pharmacists and doctors as a natural and safe sleep aid.

    The last thing we need is a PharmD spreading FUD.

  86. Imaginary_Friend says:

    I’d better stay away from this stuff. If my roll were any slower I’d be moving backwards.

    Thanks for taking one for the team, Alex.

  87. red3001 says:

    just mix dimetapp and for the same effect, minus carbonation.

  88. Anonymous says:

    I’ve “drank” this three times and each time it has worked pretty well at removing all of my energy. The biggest test was giving two cans to my brother who had just woken up from a decent sleep. An after after chugging two cans of this stuff he was out for a 90 minute-ish nap. The funny thing about it is that I buy the stuff from a truck stop and it is mixed right in between all the energy drinks… not a good place if you ask me.