By Sara Conrad Special to Published Nov 12, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Tuesday started out like any other day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and I was having a caffeine craving. After meeting a friend for lunch, I stopped by my corner store for a couple energy drinks before heading back home to an impatient mountain of paperwork.

While I perused the choices (Monster or Monster Low-Carb) my line of sight was yanked over to a row of brightly camouflaged cans bearing the words "Four Loko" on the side.

Shut up. Could it be? I had been hearing about this energy drink/alcohol hybrid via the interwebs grapevine. News stories are flooding my RSS regarding entire states banning the $2 can as college kids are freaking out on the carbonated malt beverage dubbing it "blackout in a can."

Of course I had to try it.

Four Loko comes in a crazy number of flavors more suited for the front of a Kool-Aid packet. Grape, fruit punch, orange blend (I don't even want to know), watermelon and blue raspberry are only half of the available choices. I went with boring ol' cranberry lemonade because Adult Sara made me.

The 23.5-ounce can not only tosses 600 calories at you, but a whopping 12 percent alcohol by volume, the equivalent of five to six beers. The four main ingredients (hence the "four" in the name, yay for creativity) -- caffeine, guarana, taurine and alcohol -- are causing the nation's "experts" to throw down over the mixing of uppers and downers. I do believe I've been doing that for years when I mix whiskey and cola, but I digress.

When I popped the top of my very own can o' Loko and took a swig, the sickly sweet, slightly pickle-ish liquid that shocked my taste buds wasn't the best of first impressions. However, I'm a lot of things, but a quitter isn't one of them, so I slugged and I sipped and I made horrible twisty faces. For three hours. Like whoa-ko.

I can't tell you I necessarily enjoyed those three hours as much as I anticipated, but let's say they didn't suck. What did suck was the horrible stomachache my non-college age body was stricken with post-Lok. After doing a bit of online digging, I found this is completely normal. OK then.

What isn't as normal as post-Lok gut rot is the fact that sooner than later we may be kissing the sugary substance goodbye. As more and more college students binge (and unwillingly purge) on Four Loko, campuses across the country are banning it. Our neighbor across the lake has outlawed it completely. Michiganians are out of "Lok."

After spending a night with Four Loko, do I feel the government should forbid me from any future nights of Fourlokoing? No way. This is America for cripes' sake. If college students are smart enough to be in school, they should be smart enough to not drink themselves stupid.

I do think the crazy low price for the drink is not only encouraging Loking in excess, but it's frightening to think what the quality of the ingredients must be.

If FoLo taught me one thing, it's that I'm definitely a gal of refined tastes. Perhaps next time I'll try the lemon lime flavor.

Sara Conrad Special to

To say Sara is a woman of many hats would be like saying sour gummy worms are delicious: an epic understatement. Besides blogging, vlogging, tweeting and designing, she is a gal about town. Hopping, skipping and jumping all over this fair city to seek out the latest and greatest.

Since moving to Milwaukee right after high school, Sara's ADD has led her to reside in nearly every ZIP code Milwaukee has to offer. She recently moved from the Third Ward to Shorewood, and though the quieter scene isn't sucking, she vows to prove the burbs' swagger is right up there with the city's.

The Milwaukee area is one of many hats. And Sara's determined to try on each and every one of 'em.