Food & Drink » Happiest Hour

Saying so long with a 'sidewalk slammer'

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What you're drinking: The sidewalk slammer is a combination of life's two greatest pleasures: malt liquor and fruit-flavored malt liquor. It's made with a 40 oz. bottle of plain malt liquor and your choice of either Four Loko or Sparks. After consuming roughly half of your 40, empty your other beverage into the bottle. Swirl gently.

Why you're drinking: There are plenty of circumstances that warrant a sidewalk slammer. Perhaps you've officially failed microeconomics for the third time. Maybe you scored a pizza out of a Dumpster and need something to chase it with. More likely, you work at the Missoula Independent and the departing summer staff writer insisted the whole office share a so-long slammer in the alley. Under all circumstances, though, be sure to pair it with Taco Bell.

PHOTO BY DEREK BROUWER
  • photo by Derek Brouwer

What it tastes like: The taste varies widely depending on the source materials. For our slammer, we settled on a 40 of Olde English and a blackberry Sparks. The melding of malt liquor with its fruity counterpart cuts through the latter's cloying sweetness while eliminating the alcoholic burn of the former. Our result tasted a lot like a Mountain Dew Baja Blast.

But is it good? In fact, it's surprisingly drinkable, and doubly so if you're a soda fan. Even the "responsible" and "grown-up" Indy staffers [ed. note: Just say "old," fer chrissake] who sampled the slammer seemed to genuinely enjoy it. In short, not only does it taste pretty all right, it has the power to bridge the generation gap [ed. note: You're fired].

Where it's from: There's no verifiable evidence of an origin story, but the drink's top-rated Urban Dictionary definition suggests it comes from the San Francisco Bay Area. And it does have a certain gutter-punk charm, doesn't it?

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