Behold the first alcoholic energy drink. Sort of.


Dec 1, 2000
Outside Magazine

"BECAUSE OF ATF GUIDELINES, we can't say it's an energy drink," explains Quendrith Johnson, one of the spinmeisters charged with hyping a new citrusy, caffeinated, alcoholic beverage called Hard e. "Instead, marketing is calling it a carbonated, alcoholic refresher." Clueing in to the popular Red-Bull-and-vodka cocktail known on the après-ski circuit as an Uprising, Corona, California–based Hansen Natural Corp. fused Energy, its existing athlete turbo drink, with a blend of vodka and malt liquor to create the neon-yellow Hard e. (Imagine a Bartles & Jaymes chased with Mountain Dew.) Hansen's wanted to call its concoction Hard Energy, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms forced the firm to change the drink's name to comply with the Federal Alcohol Administration Act of 1935, which bars makers of alcoholic drinks from suggesting through packaging or advertising that their wares will enhance athletic prowess. But with a planned rollout at ski resorts throughout the West this winter, Johnson and company are still hoping Hard e will put Red Bull, the jolt du jour, back in its pen. Like that market leader, the 5-percent-alcohol Hard e boasts the amino acid taurine, a panel of B vitamins, and ginseng extract. But, with ATF agents watching closely, the company will need to come up with another hook. "It does contain all sorts of nutrients," says Johnson. "But we can't say exactly what they are."

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