Appetizers

Red ginseng-based ‘vitality drink’ is a tasty alternative to ‘energy drinks’

For millennia, ginseng has been used as an herbal “remedy” believed to rejuvenate the body and mind, alleviate fatigue and stimulate cognition.

Sacramento entrepreneur Paul Vonasek and his partners are touting their Root 9 ginseng-based “vitality drink” for its “wide range of benefits,” which they say include boosting energy, metabolism, memory and libido.

The product contains “the highest grade of Korean red ginseng,” which is produced in a specific area of South Korea and is aged for six years before going to market.

The zero-calorie, sugar-free drink is lightly carbonated and has an intriguing flavor, akin to a mild strawberry-like taste with a slightly bitter aftertaste. It’s a pleasant alternative to caffeine-heavy energy drinks and cloyingly sweet soda.

“We’re developing a mango-flavored (version) that should be ready in two months,” Vonasek said.

Root 9 is sold in about 900 locations throughout California and parts of Nevada, including Nugget Markets, convenience stores and gas stations. It’s $3 for a 12-ounce can, or two for $5.

More information: www.root9ginseng.com

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