This Ain't No Wine Cooler

Will caffeinated alcohol be the next teen-drinking fad?

Let's begin by stipulating that Irish coffee is brilliant: no sensible person can argue with caffeine and whiskey topped with cream and served in a warm mug. Irish coffee has been sold in bars since the 1950s, if not earlier, so it's surprising that it took so long for the alcohol industry to come up with a canned version of caffeinated booze called alcoholic energy drinks.

If you've never heard of such things, your kid probably has. Sold in tall, narrow cans, they carry teen-friendly names such as Sparks, four maXed and Joose. As with other "flavored malt beverages" (the conspicuously...

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