Liquid Cocaine used to denote a fruity cocktail that contained some combination of Southern Comfort and fruit juice. As of 2000, it had become the most popular nickname for the mixture of Red Bull and vodka.

Unlike most booze drinks, this one has caused some serious trouble, in the same way that gin was very nearly the ruination of 18th Century England.

The problem with Red Bull is that it is a stimulant, which is fine in and of itself. Thing is, it's popular among club kids, who have popularized chugging the stuff. The result? Way too many incidents of people overheating, passing out, and sometimes dying.

Since 1997, when Red Bull was first imported from Austria, the Red Bull/vodka combo has spread beyond the club scene to the point where stockbrokers and other habitues of recherche nightspots are also chugging the stuff. In 2000, The (London) Times reported that extra police were placed on patrol outside The Pitcher and Piano, a tony watering hole in the city's financial district. The reason? The police directly attributed the necessity of extra patrols to stockbrokers who were running amok after overindulging in Liquid Cocaines (or "Legal Cocaine," as they were calling it in London.)

The prime minister of Ireland in 2000 called for an investigation into Red Bull after a young man died after chugging it at a football match.

In 2001, John Burroughs High School in Burbank, CA banned Red Bull on campus. The ban was sparked by two boys who got sick after drinking the stuff before football practice; one of them had a pulse rate of 190 beats per minute before practice had even started - normal resting heart rate for an athlete is 60 to 80 beats per minute.

None of this is to suggest that liquid cocaine is, in and of itself, a deadly drink; rum and Coke would be deadly, too, if you chugged several of them in a row and danced all night.

Remember St. Thomas Aquinas: Nothing is inherently evil, though its misuse may make it so.


Old Liquid Cocaine recipes fall under two categories, the classic Southern Comfort-based category, and the kick-your-ass peppermint-licorice-high alcohol category.

Liquid Cocaine I (submitted by datagirl)
  • 2 shots (3 oz.) Southern Comfort
  • 1 shot (1.5 oz.) Amaretto
  • 2 oz. Orange juice
  • 2 oz. Pineapple juice
  • 2 coffee creamers
Shake with ice, serve on the rocks.

Liquid Cocaine II (submitted by Senso)
Liquid Cocaine III (identical versions contributed by both DrWoody and glassonion)
  • 1 part Rumpleminze or Peppermint Schnapps
  • 1 part Jägermeister
  • 1 part Barcardi 151 Rum

and, the topic of discussion ...
Liquid Cocaine IV (the 2002 version)
  • 1 shot (1.5 oz) vodka
  • 1 can Red Bull
Put shot of vodka in rocks glass, fill to top with cold Red Bull. Shoot, don't sip.

Other recipes:
Lovers of novelty drinks seem to take to the name, if nothing else. A survey of Internet sites turns up no less than 86 other concoctions under the name Liquid Cocaine. Few of them appear more than once; none of them are more than two years old. (Two examples: Grand Marnier/ Southern Comfort/ vodka/ Amaretto/ pineapple juice, and Yukon Jack/ Jack Daniel's/ guava juice.)

News articles and firsthand accounts of Liquid Cocaine-chugging. archives/2002/04/30/news4.html

Everything Bartender

Thx to call and m_turner.

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