Fork in the Road might be obsessed with Drank, the “anti-energy” drink presumably inspired by “purple drank,” the mixture of cough syrup and Sprite that southern rappers like to get blunted on, but for those who worship at the mantle of alertness and productivity, Slate has a far more useful — if sort of stomach-turning — rundown of the latest forms of chewable caffeine.
Among the products that Mason Currey taste tests, the most blechtacular would seem to be Morning Spark’s caffeine, guarana, and yerba maté–infused oatmeal — “every spoonful tastes like it has a shot of cough syrup mixed in.” Wilford Brimley would not approve. Next up, Jelly Belly Cherry Extreme Sport Energizing Jelly Beans (got all that?) are “terrible — they taste like chewable, past-their-expiration-date cough drops.” They do, however, provide a “mild buzz.” Buzz Bites Chocolate Energy Chews offer a “smooth, mellow buzz” if you don’t mind a chemical aftertaste. Engobi Cinnamon Surge Energy Go Bites, which are similar to Taco Bell’s Cinnamon Twists, yield the biggest buzz by far — “after eating most of the bag, I felt like my eyes had been hooked up to tiny batteries.” The winner, however, was Penguin Caffeinated Peppermints — “the only product I tested whose medicinal taste could be considered agreeable.” Strangely, Currey didn’t sample Mad Croc energy gum (look for the pissed-off crocodile on the package), but trust us, that’s for the best.