Sparks is the product that proves you can pay off the FDA. (2010 note: but not forever.) In the nineties when The Drew Carey Show reminded national audiences of Cleveland's existence, the idea of the show's "Buzz Beer" was laughable, a sitcom concoction of beer and coffee. While Sparks and other alcoholic "energy" drinks taste nothing much like those two liquids, the idea of Buzz Beer - along with "Irish Coffee" - is a suitable antecedent for this confounding in a can. Not produced continually for thousands of years following a process passed down from inebriate to inebriate like wine or beer but as a marketing concept that materialized after the fallout of the XTREME early-2000's action sport craze, Sparks combines xtreme uppers (caffeine et al) with xtreme downers (alcohol). Sparks seems to say that even in our resplendent nighttimes of fraternity and partyhood Americans still wish to be able to "work harder" and "accomplish more" and need the "energy" to do it. Conceptualized then as the ultimate party hopper's drink and initally marketed through the coke worshipping press (Vice), Sparks has become ubiquitous in gas stations across the heartland, becoming the choice of Fratamerica, the energymaker behind so many daterapes and brofights.
But what is Sparks? It tastes like it has the chemical makeup of house paint and is obviously packed full of carcinogens whether we currently "officially" know that or not. Its yellowish piss stains tongues with high fructose corn syrup and Yellow 5 color dye. Its caffeine doesn't keep you up all night - it's no substitute for coke - but it does alarm clock you four hours after you've passed out with Sparks stomach, the shakes, heart palpitations and morning insomnia when you just want to sleep off your bad, energetic decisions. It's actually - xtremely let's say - the worst drink in the world.