3Sum Alcoholic Energy Drink
Truthfully, I never thought I would love having a 3Sum as much as I did. Even though my 3Sum was very old, past the date I should touch it, and kinda shady, it looked so Smokin, and ready to explode over me!
3SUM was an old premium malt beverage “infused” with the energy components caffeine, ginseng, and taurine. This flavored beer was made at a time when alcopops were plentiful: Sparks flowed like wine and Bud Extra flowed like Piss. Tilt and Rize filled the alcoholic coolers nad companies like United Brands were churning out flavors to compete with the Big Boys of Alcoholic Energy Drinks like Coors and Miller. Then the litigation started. Coors, Miller and Bud were blackmailed into halting their line of caffeinated drinks by overzealous right wingers and politicians trying to make a name for themselves. The only ones left producing these are smaller companies, like Four and United Brands, still standing strong with their Joose line. For now.
I found this can hiding in a liquor store I never go into – in the back of the cooler, slightly stuck to the wire rack. It was all gold and black – looking like a relic from 80 years ago. I have never even heard of 3Sum before, although I was familiar with their creators and all their concoctions over the years, from Vibe to Diesel alcoholic energy drink.
Flipping it over, I saw it expired some time in 2006. The can was a little dented, a little squashed, but Very Enticing. The store owner even did not want to sell the drink to me until I explained to him that I was a professional. I knew what I was doing.
On their defunct website I found at archive.org ( their website went offline in 2007), it seems I was bestowed the Original flavor. There was also an apple, tropical, and watermelon flavor to round out their mix. Now, almost anyone who has EVER drank an alcoholic Malt Beverage knows what to expect. Your mouth is supposed to pucker, the flavor bites your tongue and then you shudder at the high alcohol content.
Maybe alcopops get better with age. Maybe being kept at a cold temperature for 4 years had done something to this particular flaovr to balance things out. All I know is this is the best alcopop, if not one of the best alcoholic energy drinks I have ever had.I know – great taste and energy drinks go together like ballet dancing and banana peels – but this tasted divine. It reminded me of a pear and apple cider, with a strong but not overpowering alcoholic finish and a light foamy head. While I am truly sorry I will most likely never be able to try this drink again, I feel lucky to have tried it at all. If you are lucky enough to have some of these sitting around, consider yourself a very lucky drinker.
One of the reasons the flavor was so amazing is they did not feel the obnoxious need to pack enough alcohol to make you blind, like they do now. 3Sum has just 6%, about as much as a strong beer or cider.Of course, this means that you might want to drink more of these, but they are just so damn good – finishing 3 or 4 of these sixteen ounce cans would be dangerously easy.
As for the caffeine, taurine and ginseng, they were not even noticeable. Mind you, I did not even feel a little sleepy after finishing the can, but I did not feel energized either. My guess is there is about as much caffeine in an entire can as you would find in a can of Coke. You might feel it if you were knocking them back like water, but I doubt it would affect you very much if you drank a can or two over the course of an evening.
And, if you managed to stretch this out all night, you could walk around with this GORGEOUS can in your hand. Even dinged up, old and abused, this drink still shone. The gold on black looked elegant and sophisticated, even when faced with the ridiculous name of 3Sum. The fonts were very easy to read and the layout nice and clean.
But what really stands out is how long this can seems to have withstood the elements. It must have endured a whole lot, hanging out in a Liquor store for that long. It was not like it took up much shelf space, as much as it took up valuable room in a drink cooler. You would have expected pinhole leaks, or at least something to have let the oxygen in. But no light or disrupting elements seem to have filtered through, as the drink inside was perfect.