VYBES: Ginger Lemonade


A decent chunk of the disc golf population is beginning to get a communal itch right about now.  We’re 12 days into the New Year and one day away from the weekend, which may mean that some of your card-mates are nearly two weeks into Dry January:  The annual festival of shunning alcohol and making sure to tell everyone you know about it via social media.

‘Tis the season of cheat days and alternatives too; where another quote-unquote vice may fill the void.  It’s exercise for some.  It’s binging movies or shows for others.  Some go on a puzzle-solving spree or dust off their cribbage boards.  (That last one’s for the MA60 and FA60 crowd).

As for Frolfer Magazine, we’re taking the opportunity to imbibe a bit differently than usual, branching out into something we’re calling #JazzCabbageJanuary.  Every week this month, while the fiends continue to try to shake off the shakes, we’ll be taking a little stroll into the world of CBD, and trying out some of the perfectly legal products that some of the top athletes in our sport are representing.

For week 1, I pulled an old fave off the shelf at the local liquor store:  Vybes Ginger Lemonade.

Coming in a sturdy glass vessel with a wide-mouth, Vybes makes several different beverages to choose from, all in 14oz volumes.  Why not the standard 12 or 16?  Because 14oz converts to 420ml.  Hardy har har.

But that’s about the only sort of nod to the stoney-baloney crowd that Vybes makes.  In fact, the presentation is fan-fucking-tastic; from the no-nonsense font to the high-brow texturing of the stick-on label itself, this thing screams to you off the rack.  It’s blunt and chic at the same time, which is not the sort of thing that works in most attempts.

Vybes achieves that here, and the weight of the glass and the feel of the label give the drink the sort of gravity that the label’s design implies. I feel cool holding onto it.  It gives me a boost to my aura, or some other hippy-dippy sort of nonsense.

A+ on the aesthetic.  I’m hooked.

But how does it taste?  And, maybe more importantly, is that 25mg of hemp extract going to enhance your life in some way?

On the first point, it’s delicious.  It’s refreshing and hot, with the ginger providing a pallet-cleansing rush of the sort of sensation that only ginger can provide.  It’s not the prickly, tingly sort of ginger that you find in Hotshot from Arden’s Garden, but a drier sort of thing.

This is not a carbonated beverage, but it’s not cloying or viscous in the least.  It’s on par with half-sweet tea in terms of mouthfeel, but the flavor doesn’t linger nearly as long thanks to the acidity of the lemon and that ginger gut-punch.

It’s hard to sip it slowly.  Every bit down the hatch wants more to follow.  I suppose that’s a characteristic shared by a lot of high-quality lemonade, including the product that inspired Vybes.

From their website:

Inspired by award winning chef & baker, Nancy Silverton, who has been serving an iconic Ginger Lemonade at La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles for years, our rendition of her famous Ginger Lemonade is made from just two simple ingredients: Lemon juice & Peruvian Ginger.

It’s just sweet enough to offset the ginger, but still has enough bite to be a quencher.

As for the 25mg of “hemp extract”, I’d say that Vybes delivers.

The bottle proudly sports a manifesto on the side of the label, the gist of which is:  “The world is crazy.  We need to chill.  Use this to chill”.

But, after the founder’s sign-off, there is a curious little piece that caught my eye:

For anxious minds.

Consume Daily.

While the second part of that statement may run counter to the “world is too crazy” message in a Shepard Fairey sort of way,  “for anxious minds” hit me hard.  This is a common feature of me as a human being, anxiety, and it waxes and wanes and weaves its way through my life.  Mostly weaving and waxing.

And, as I type this, I am not all that anxious, despite the fact that there is usually some deep-seated fear of embarrassment that underlines every public syllable I espouse.  (Some call it “imposter syndrome”.  It’s “Thursday” for me).

Vybes hits me right where it’s intended to, and I’m thankful for that.

There’s no discernible wooziness, and I’m definitely not intoxicated.  I just feel nice, and not in an intense way.

I suppose that’s exactly what I was looking for.

Now to talk about the practicality of it all, and in a disc golf sense.

First and foremost, that all-too-cool glass bottle that helped to coax me into purchasing the product isn’t exactly the ideal vessel for tournament day.  It’s heavy, it can’t be crushed to take up less room in those already overflowing garbage cans, and it’s not going to take kindly to a hearty drop.  (Of course, if you don’t mind cleaning out your Hydroflask as soon as you get home, you could always throw a couple of bottles on ice in there.

As for the availability, Vybes has been largely spotted around Atlanta in the aforementioned liquor stores and smoke shops, so you’re not likely to snatch one up when you stop at that mega-sized gas station when the coffee hits an hour before tee-time.

And then there’s the cost.

At $6 a pop, (even wholesale direct from the manufacturer), Vybes has absolutely nailed the price point that your average Starbucks consumer won’t bat an eye at.

But when it’s on the shelf next to a $7.99 sixer of PBR tallboys during that pre-tournament pit-stop, the decision gets a little harder.