If 2021 ended on an indulgent note, then 2022’s prodigious, functional beverage trend can help support a healthier future you. A way to have your drink and be good to your body, too, these drinks packed with superfoods, vitamins, herbs, amino acids, and/or probiotics utilize non-traditional ingredients to nourish the body, even as they hydrate and satisfy. Ideal for those endeavoring to steer away from alcohol, sugar, and/or caffeine (or for those simply in search of refreshment), functional beverages come in a multitude of shapes, ingredients, flavors, and sizes. They may be sipped hot or cold, depending on the libation. They offer both immediate health effects and long-term benefits—just the ticket for clean living in the year to come. We’ve rounded up a must-have collection to fill your larder.
Potion Adaptogenic Brews
Austin-based Potion Adaptogenic Brews presents a range of mood-changing, ready-to-drink, organic beverages sold in stylish, 16-ounce, recyclable glass bottles. The founders drew from ancient healing wisdom, home remedies, and modern sensibilities to concoct their delicious, naturally sweet recipes and popular flavors which include: Cosmic Blueberry, (inspired by the juicy, messy first bite of homemade blueberry pie): Mystic Hibiscus (like a superfood fruit punch), and Evolved Sweet Tea Lemonade (a melding of rich Assam tea with organic lemon juice, served up as a 21st century update to the beloved classic). More options are coming to market soon.
Producing healthy drinks with ancient superfoods, known as adaptogens, plants long integral to Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine, Potion touts a mission to provide consumers with the opportunity to discover how these roots, herbs, mushrooms, and antioxidants can naturally regulate stress in their bodies and steer them, sip by sip, to a happier emotional middle ground. Key to all Potion’s blends are reishi mushrooms (used by Chinese healers for 2,000 years, and believed to fight cancer cells), chaga mushrooms (an arsenal of antioxidants that benefit immunity), astralagus root (with three active, disease-fighting compounds) and elderberry (an immune fortifier, heart protector, and stress mollifier). These thirst quenchers, further bolstered with lip-smacking fruit, teas, and herbs, not only evade illness and alleviate stress, but they also satisfy the senses. Available in select stores in California, Texas, and the East Coast. www. potionbrews.com
“It feels good to feel good, and it feels good to do good,” says Phil Masiello about his vision for his sustainable, plant-based, adaptogenic, and memory-enhancing beverage line, Uplift Florae. The seed idea for the company came from Masiello’s own battle with weight. Realizing his need for a protein powder without added fillers and free from sugar and additives, he sought a nutritionist who helped him formulate a clean, delicious, affordable option incorporating a blend of digestible plant protein comprised of pea, pumpkin, and hemp seeds, totally different from anything on the grocery shelves.
The results spoke for themselves. Masiello knew he had to share his secret with the world. Going on to develop four more distinctive drink mixes, Masiello designed one for every mood.Hot Sexy Cocoa Adaptogen Blend, purported to be an elixir for better libido performance, is nearly calorie free, boasts ginseng, and tastes like drinking fudge. Phyto-Superfood Green Drink, an herbaceous green libation, uses a patented red algae. Lean Bean Power Coffee, made with adaptogenic mushrooms and coffee, mimics a rich, barista-blended cup of Joe. Promoting digestion and reducing water retention, among other attributes, Tranqui-latte Bolden Milk, a creamy turmeric satisfier with classic chai flavors, also keeps inflammation at a bay.
In keeping with his plant-based preferences, Masiello also proudly acknowledges the environmentally conscious aspects of Uplift. Not only does each product offer healing ingredients for consumers, the sustainable packaging also contributes to lowering the company’s plastic footprint. The vegan products also reduce the carbon footprint. Currently available online for individual purchase, as a set, or via an optional subscription plan, Uplift can be purchased at getuplifted.com and amazon.com.
Soul Fixx Kombucha
Probiotic-packed, raw, and nourishing, Soul Fixx kombucha (a brewed, fermented, slightly bubbly tea) comes in three non-alcoholic flavors, each summoned from the founders’ world travels and their culinary backgrounds.
The founders of Soul Fixx, a gastronomic kombucha company based in Healdsburg, have metaphysically philosophical underpinnings—just like the astonishingly flavored beverages they make. They tout synchronicity (the momentous collision of events that lead to a joyful new stage) and symbiosis (the seamless melding of two distinct species) as the loose and clever cornerstone to both their kombucha and their stellar working relationship.
Culinary Institute of America graduates, both veterans of storied French Laundry, Erik Fritz and Ruben Moreno drew from local food and wine culture to create elixirs sure to “fix”—and hydrate— the soul, while honoring Napa Valley’s quintessential artisan spirit. Probiotic-packed, raw, and nourishing, Soul Fixx kombucha (a brewed, fermented, slightly bubbly tea) comes in three non-alcoholic flavors, each summoned from the founders’ world travels and their culinary backgrounds.
Choose Dry Ginger Hibiscus, with just five grams of sugar, naturally sweetened with a smidgen of star anise. Guava Cardamon, an ode to the founders’ Mexican roots, evokes a palpably fruity, southern Mexican spice. Tangerine Lemon Verbena channels the duo’s epicurean backgrounds via a complex blend of flavors: masculine citrus and wood tones pop with a ping of piquant Szechuan pepper. They’ve just launched a line of hard kombucha as well.
Find Soul Fixx kombucha in a variety of North Bay stores. Pro tip: locals in the Sonoma County area who don’t wish to pay for shipping can stop by Soul Fixx’s brew site on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to pick up a case or arrange a drop with Erik Fritz at Erik@soulfixxkombucha.com.
For imbibers craving a gin fix without the alcohol, Sonoma County’s Sipsong Spirits founder and master distiller, Tara Jasper, offers up the prime solution: a tea conceived to echo the nuances of her own bright flagship spirit
Those who favor gin revere it for its heady blend of botanicals, usually juniper (and anti-inflammatory) complemented with any variety of antioxidant-rich herbs, berries, roots, or fruit. For imbibers craving a gin fix without the alcohol, Sonoma County’s Sipsong Spirits founder and master distiller, Tara Jasper, offers up the prime solution: a tea conceived to echo the nuances of her own bright flagship spirit. Thirteen botanicals combine to take gin-loving tastebuds to a new level, including unexpected additions to the classic combination: Moroccan orange, lavender, hibiscus, and tongue-tingling pink peppercorns. Sobering, festive, and refreshingly quaffable, loose-leaf Indira Tea elevates the “mocktail” experience with its rosy hue and infinite possibilities. It begs to be sipped in a sun-dappled garden, croquet mallet in hand. Not just good for you, but also planet-loving, Indira Tea has no sugars or sweeteners, and comes packaged with optional chlorine-free paper tea bags. Available directly from Sipsongspirits.com.
How to make Indira Tea’s “Fight Like a Girl”
3-4 ounces Indira Tea
½ ounces pomegranate grenadine
½ ounces fresh lemon juice
1-2 ounces Fever Tree light tonic water
Shake gin, lemon, and grenadine with ice for 10 seconds, then add tonic. Add 10 to 15 fresh pomegranate seeds or a round slice of lemon and top with Fever Tree light tonic. Pour into a collins glass.
16 ounces pomegranate juice
16 ounces sugar
2 ounces pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon orange flower water
Heat pomegranate juice enough to melt sugar on the stovetop. Add sugar, molasses, and orange flower water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Will keep in the refrigerator for one month. Note: Do not use orange blossom water.