I happened into a Phoenix gas station earlier this week and was stunned to see how many “energy” shots were on sale at the register. Over 20 different varieties and hundreds of little two-ounce vials. It’s become one of the biggest trends in nonalcoholic drinking: High caffeine, very small portions. Just suck down the shot and you’re on your energized way, no complicated ordering dictated to a bored barista, no lingering over a 16-ounce vente as you wait for it to kick in.
I finally tried a smattering of the various flavors of Mini Thin Rush that are available to see how they actually taste and work.
Each Mini Thin Rush has 200 mg of caffeine packed into two ounces, plus taurine (200 mg), some B vitamins, and something called Eleuthero. The ingredients are pretty much the above, plus water and sucralose to mask the bitterness of the pharma, and some flavoring. Mini Thin Rush comes in a range of flavors, including lemon-lime, orange, berry, and mocha.
The taste? Better than I’d thought. This is hardly organic essence of elderflower and essential oils. It’s chemical sludge and water (and it’s very thin; I was expecting something like Pepto), crammed into a plastic, shrinkwrapped vial. But considering this is just a delivery mechanism for caffeine, it goes down fairly easily, even at room temperature (though they’re better chilled). Even the mocha one wasn’t bad, though it’s just a moderately flavored, tepid drink. (In fairness, some of the shots do indeed include natural flavors, so maybe that’s why it’s not so bad.)
The impact? I didn’t get that big a kick from the shots, but your mileage may vary. Though I was promised I wouldn’t “crash” on the bottle, I certainly did in the afternoon. I have no idea what the basis for the “no crash” claim is since the stuff is largely just caffeine, but I found myself badly wanting a nap around 3pm. It was so bad I went for the Mini Thin Rush gum ($2/pack), a method to chew your way to caffeine and not have to drink anything at all.
Overall: Not bad, but not really something I’d use except in case of a real alertness emergency.
C+ / $3 each / minithinrush.com