Mixing energy drinks with alcoholic beverages has come a long way since the simpler days of DIY Red Bull-and-vodka concoctions, with companies like Budweiser and Miller creating drinks containing energy-boosting elements of taurine and ginseng, in addition to the caffeine. Now facing pressure from state officials, Anheuser-Busch has agreed to stop selling alcoholic energy drinks:
The attorneys general and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have threatened to sue A-B and Miller Brewing Co., charging that their alcoholic energy drinks are marketed to underage drinkers and also pose health risks.
A-B, while maintaining that the beverages are legal and not marketed to underage drinkers, nonetheless notified CSPI that it would agree to stop marketing alcoholic drinks with energy supplements such as caffeine.
Earlier, Anheuser-Busch called the concerns over alcoholic energy beverages as being "alarmist," pointing out that their products like Bud Extra and Tilt had less caffeine than a Starbuck's coffee and had met all federal requirements and approvals. Now, however, they say they will reformulate the drinks so that they do not contain supplements like caffeine and guarana. State officials say they are continuing to investigate other producers of alcoholic energy drinks.