France now imposes a tax of 1.019 euros per liter of energizing drinks – those with over .22 grams of caffeine per liter. That’s about 35 U.S. cents tax per can of 25 centiliters (wine commonly comes in 75 cl. containers; Red Bull in the USA is typically sold in cans of 8.4 ounces, or 24.8 cl.; that 25 cent figure assumes 1.4 euros to the U.S. dollar).
The official French government site actually uses the term “taxe Red Bull” and says the tax aims to reduce excessive consumption of this kind of drink. Coffee and tea are not taxed.
This kind of cliff — where staying below a threshold makes a big tax difference — reflects the idea that products above the threshold are different in kind from those below.