Socko is made right here in the Valley, at Bliss Beverages on Scottsdale Road. The company, founded five years ago by 32 year-old Jordan Harwood, has been fairly successful in its short existence, teaming up with World Wrestling Entertainment to produce the Hulk Energy drink, and raking in an estimated $4 million a year in profits. The upstart company took off so quickly that Harwood was profiled in Forbes just a year after founding it.
While the Hulk Energy drink is packaged in a vibrant yellow and red can and has a sweet, syrupy apple taste, the original Socko energy drink is a bit different.
Looks like: A light, bright green liquid (or diluted anti-freeze).
Tastes like: A sweet citrus drink with a slightly sour aftertaste. There's a strong watermelon flavor, which is refreshing.
Smells like: Soggy Green Apple Jolly Ranchers.
Caffeine and other contents: A 16 oz. can contains 160 mg of caffeine, the same amount as two cans of Red Bull. There's also a whopping 2000 mg of Taurine in the drink, also twice the amount of Red Bull. Other ingredients include the herbs horny goat weed, yerba mate, ginseng, and Guarana, and vitamins B6 and B12. The drink is sweetened with a sugar/Splenda blend.
Caffeine kick: The sustained energy from the drink is a subtle, mental alertness, rather than a jittery, nervous sort of energy. The sugar crash is mild because of the low sugar content (28 grams, less than a Pepsi). At around $2.45 per can, it runs the same price as a Monster or Rock Star, and packs the same sort of rush with a savory flavor. -- Niki D'Andrea