The active ingredient of purple drank is codeine, an opiate medication contained in prescription strength cough syrups due to its antitussive properties. Some prescription cough syrups also contain anti-histamine medications, such as promethazine, which have a mild sedative effect. When taken in large quantities, both medications can lead to sedation and altered levels of consciousness.
Houston producer DJ Screw first popularized the concoction, which is widely attributed as a source of inspiration for the "chopped & screwed" style of hip hop music. Originally, the active ingredient of "Syrup" was cough syrup containing promethazine and codeine. The concoction first gained popularity in the underground Houston, Texas rap scene and later spread to other southern states.
"drank up in ma cup, mayne hold up"
"purple in ma soda"
"purple tonic got me leanin"
Purple Drank must be served in a styrofoam cup, otherwise it will not be considered Purple Drank by the majority of the Purple Drank abusing community.
Purple Drank is NOT:
-ANY SYRUP CONTAINING DEXTROMETHORPHAN
-Hydrocodone with Promethazine
-Any syrup containing ANY drug ingredient other than Promethazine and codeine.
-Liquid Codeine. Purple drank is codeine dissolved in syrup. The codeine molecules are not actually in the liquid phase.
It generally consists of around two fluid ounces of promethazine/codeine cough syrup, 8 or more ounces of lemon-lime soda (Sprite, Sierra Mist, 7up, Mountain Dew, Fresca, etc), and jolly ranchers for flavor. It is called 'purple drank' for a) the purple color that the dye in the syrup gives it, and b) the southern pronunciation of the word 'drink'.
It was created around the time when chopped & screwed rap music hit the scene, where the drink went well with the music considering it induced a similar 'slow' and 'leaning' feeling in the consumer. The beverage until recently, however, did not become popular on a wider scale, and originally was almost completely limited and known (for that matter) to the southern regions of the USA.
Purple drank has more street names, the most popular being Lean and Sizzurp.
"Dude, that drank got me leanin' last night."
"That drank tastes like shit, but feels like sex."