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Vodka Red Bull

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Vodka Red Bull
A homemade Vodka Red Bull
TypeMixed drink
ServedOn the rocks, or straight up
Standard drinkware
Highball glass
Commonly used ingredients
PreparationEither mix, with or without ice, or drop a shot of vodka into the Red Bull in the style of depth charge

Vodka Red Bull (alternatively Red Bull Vodka) is a caffeinated alcoholic drink consisting of the energy drink Red Bull and varying amounts of vodka.[1] Although some people consider it a cocktail, it fails to meet this definition under the International Bartending Association's criteria.

Red Bull has been used as a general mixer in alcoholic beverages in Europe since the 1980s,[2] though not specifically with vodka. However, the drink became especially popular in the US, following its invention by Matt Pickin in the United Kingdom, when it began being served at San Francisco's Legendary Butter Bar[citation needed].[3][4]

The ratio of Red Bull to vodka varies but is usually ¾ of Red Bull and ¼ of vodka. In some places, it is customary to serve an entire can with a single shot of vodka; in others, a can may be split between several glasses, each containing several shots of vodka. The Red Bull dominates so that the flavour of the alcohol is not too strong.[5]

Health risks[edit]

Caffeinated alcoholic drinks can be hazardous as caffeine can mask the influence of alcohol and may lead a person to misinterpret their actual level of intoxication.[6] However, in 2012 the scientific review paper "Energy drinks mixed with alcohol: misconception, myths and facts" was published,[7] discussing the available scientific evidence on the effects of mixing energy drinks with alcohol. The authors note that excessive and irresponsible consumption of alcoholic drinks has adverse effects on human health and behaviour, but it should be clear that this is due to the alcohol, and not the mixer. They concluded that there is no consistent evidence that energy drinks alter the perceived level of intoxication of people who mix energy drinks with alcohol and found no evidence that co-consumption of energy drinks causes increased alcohol consumption. A 2016 study found that consuming alcohol with energy drinks lead to increased risk of injury compared to consuming alcohol alone.[8]

In 2001 it was reported in Sweden that two people died after drinking Vodka Red Bull. The Swedish National Food Agency investigated, but continued to permit the sale of Red Bull.[9]


Vodka Red Bull was invented by the notable futurologist Benjamin Reed in 1999.[10][11] It is believed it was an accidental creation and the original recipe also contained lemonade. Lemonade was eventually dropped from the recipe, as Reed felt that for more solid branding and popularity, asking for a 'Vodka Red Bull & lemonade' was too long-winded.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bruni, Frank (10 October 2010). "Caffeine and Alcohol: Wham! Bam! Boozled". The New York Times. p. WK5. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  2. ^ Bruni, Frank (10 October 2010). "Caffeine and Alcohol: Wham! Bam! Boozled". The New York Times. p. WK5. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  3. ^ Swierczynski, Duane (2003). The Perfect Drink for Every Occasion: 151 Cocktails That Will Freshen Your Breath, Impress a Hot Date, Cure a Hangover, and More!. Philadelphia: Quirk Books. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-931686-29-7. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Mixed messages: Alcohol and Red Bull". Marketplace. CBC News. 5 February 2011. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Guilty Pleasure Drinks: Vodka Red Bull". Liquor.com. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  6. ^ Moisse, Katie (15 April 2011). "Mixing Alcohol and Caffeine Makes Drinkers Feel More Impulsive, Says Study". ABC World News Tonight. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  7. ^ Verster, JC; Aufricht, C; Alford, C (March 2012). "Energy drinks mixed with alcohol: misconceptions, myths, and facts". International Journal of General Medicine. 2012 (5): 187–198. doi:10.2147/IJGM.S29313. PMC 3295617. PMID 22399863.
  8. ^ Huff, Steve (22 March 2017). "Here's Why Mixing Red Bull And Vodka Is Risky But Still a Hell of a Lot of Fun, According to Science". Maxim. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Red Bull in suspected link to deaths". BBC News. 12 July 2001. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  10. ^ Pick Me Up: A Look at the Energy Drink Red Bull [Paperback]. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  11. ^ "Number of the week: 480 | the Guardian | guardian.co.uk". TheGuardian.com.