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Best Old-School Caffeine Jolt


The sultry flapper and her Gatsby-esque beau, canoodling under the proclamation “Since 1895,” clue you in that Manhattan Special soda is the granddaddy of energy drinks. Bottled for over a century on Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn, this straight-up blend of espresso and cane sugar jazzes your tongue as it skyrockets through your brain. While no studies we’re aware of have found this carbonated ebony elixir to be as addictive as smack or crack, we do know all too well the siren call of those retro graphics beckoning from a bodega refrigerator case. Indisputably an acquired taste, this sweet jolt is also offered in diet and decaffeinated versions, but we can’t speak to those because, c’mon, what’s the point?

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