Down the hatch: Ooba Hibiscus With Lime

In an effort to counteract the Mountain Dew Voltage I tried at the end of last month, I thought I’d look into the latest superfood growth area: health beverages. First on the docket is Ooba, a sparkling drink made with hibiscus extract. 

I’ve seen hibiscus-flavored drinks in Mexican restaurants; hibiscus is one of the many flavors of the Mexican soft drink Jarritos. But Ooba (an acronym for “one of botanical’s advantages”) marks the first hibiscus drink I’ve tried outside of hot tea. 

The hibiscus is a bright red flower that’s typically been used to make tea in Asia and Europe. The flower’s natural properties are often compared to red wine as a preventative measure for high blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

“Experience the power of the flower,” suggests Hibix, the maker of Ooba. The hibiscus extract in the drink is labeled a super antioxidant, and each serving contains 50 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C., although the suggestion that it’s designed to “help maintain cardiovascular function” sounds slightly ominous. At $2 for a 16 oz. bottle that comes in six flavors, it sits somewhere on the price spectrum between juice and energy drink.

The drink has some warning signs, starting with an odd-shaped bottle that looks like the kind used to store citronella for backyard tiki torches. Non-standard bottles tend to suggest products that are either not widely distributed or at definitive ends of the good/bad spectrum.

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink