The juice flavors are variously spiced with black pepper, cayenne, chile, ginger and wasabi. Photo courtesy Prometheus Springs.
|WHAT IT IS: Juice drinks with a double hit of heat: from black pepper, cayenne, ginger or wasabi plus capsaicin, the component that gives chiles their heat.
|WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: An innovative idea that is on trend with America’s love of spicy food.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Great flavors, an exciting change of pace and a possible health benefit bonus.
|WHERE TO BUY IT: At organic and natural foods retailers and online. See retail store locator.
There are delicious cocktail recipes for every flavor of Prometheus Springs Photo courtesy Prometheus Springs. The drinks pair beautifully with spicy foods as well as non-spicy ones. Photo courtesy Prometheus Springs.
The company website has a nice collection of recipes that use the drinks in appetizers, dressings, main courses, marinades and sauces. Here, a quick dumpling sauce made by mixing a bit of Lemon Ginger with soy sauce. Recipe. Photo courtesy Prometheus Springs.
Here, halibut poached in Citrus Cayenne. Recipe. Photo courtesy Prometheus Springs.
Sizzlingly Good Spicy Juice Drinks From Prometheus Springs
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Prometheus Springs is an exciting new line of juice drinks. You might call it the hottest line around, thanks to delectable blends of fruit juice, hot spices and capsaicin,* the component that gives the heat to hot chiles. As a bonus, it’s certified organic and kosher.
There’s a big market of people who love spicy foods. They’ll love these terrific, refreshing, spicy drinks, which make great cocktail mixers as well.
The company founders intend these drinks to have health benefits: tonics. Hence they are called “capsaicin spiced elixirs.”
But this is no niche product for health food stores: It has potential to be the next hot (trendy) thing, or the first hot (spicy) thing, in the cold beverage category.
Spicy Drink Flavors
The drinks are all natural and sweetened with organic evaporated cane sugar; all contain capsaicin for extra heat. We love every one of the six flavors:
- Citrus Cayenne: Grapefruit and lemon layered with cayenne pepper. Health benefit: detoxifying.
- Lemon Ginger: Spicy ginger and zesty lemon are a zingy combination. Health claim: purifies both the body and mind.
- Lychee Wasabi: Lychee is a great flavor waiting to go mainstream, like wasabi did seven years ago. There are few lychee-flavored products in America. This is a welcome, inspired pairing.
- Mango Chili: This is a classic combination and a great one: tropical heat. If you’re near a Latin market, look for mango chili ice pops (paletas)—fire and ice in each bite. Follow with a Mango Chili chaser.
- Pom Black Pepper: Pomegranate juice layered with the black pepper. Health claim: stress reducer.
- Spicy Pear: Enjoyable anytime, this could be your secret ingredient for fall entertaining.
But the drinks are “mainstream hot.” We prefer mild salsa, for example, and found the heat levels to be just fine. The flavors go well with spicy dishes as well as non-spicy ones.
If this isn’t enough for you, you can purchase capsaicin extract† and experiment with creating your own drink flavors—or make spicy Jell-O, sorbet, ice cream (great with chocolate), whatever. The difference between capsaicin extract and a hot sauce like Tabasco is that capsaicin adds only heat—no color or savory flavors.
The Company’s Vision
The founders’ focus is on the health benefits of capsaicin. That’s why they call the line “capsaicin spiced elixirs”—capsaicin tonics. There’s a discussion of health benefits below.
The start-up company is focusing on organic and natural foods stores (it currently has distribution in more than 40 states). That makes sense for a tonic-type drink. But we hope the company considers some adjustments on its branding in order to take advantage of the broader, spice-loving consumer base, with whom “capsaicin,” “elixir” and “Prometheus” may not resonate at all.
Prometheus was the Greek god credited with stealing fire from Zeus and giving it to humanity. Perhaps the name references the “fire,” perhaps the gift to humanity (the elixir), perhaps both.
Could there be a more exciting brand name that expresses the uniqueness of the product? The concepts of spicy and healthy can be united to attract both tonic-seekers and spice lovers. Send your suggestions to Prometheus Springs.
Capsaicin & Health
In ayurvedic medicine, capsaicin is used to boost the metabolism and mood. The American Association for Cancer Research reports clinical studies in mice suggesting that capsaicin is able to kill prostate cancer cells. Clinical studies conducted in Japan and China show that capsaicin inhibits the growth of leukemia cells.
Capsaicin is currently used to treat medical conditions from neuralgia to psoriasis. It’s the heat in the creams and patches that are used for arthritis and muscle pain. It can help with headaches, sinuses and gastric problems (details).
In alternative medicine, capsaicin is prescribed to help with weight loss and make sugar cravers crave less of it (details).
But don’t drink Prometheus Springs Capsaicin Elixirs as a curative or a preventative. For one thing, you don’t know how much you’d have to drink to get the appropriate capsaicin level. For another, each 16-ounce bottle has 20g of sugar and 160 calories. There are calorie-free ways to ingest capsaicin.
No, drink these “capsaicin spiced elixirs” because they are palate-titillating and provide the deep contentment that comes of enjoying something that tastes especially good. That, in of itself, is an elixir.
— Karen Hochman