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Sir Inkwell’s Health Curiosities – Drink Review

Two cans of Sir Inkwell's Health Curiosities, one is Wild Berry & Pomegranate, the other Blood Orange & Mango.

The can says “Welcome to the whimsically wondrous and fantastical world of Sir Inkwell!” I’m glad they acknowledge the name, since I keep thinking I’m drinking something provided by a secondary character in a steampunk game of some sort.

The can says this is one of Sir Inkwell’s Health Curiosities, which is an interesting branding since when I think of curiosities I think of “weird things in a cabinet” or “that thing that kills cats.” Their drinks use yerba mate, tea, and an adaptogen blend of ashwaganda, reishi, and ginseng. The can also says “A touch sweet.” 

Mate has a very distinctive taste. I think I’ve described it elsewhere as like drinking cardboard, but you don’t mind because it’s pretty tasty cardboard. Anyway, the point being that yerba mate, if it’s in a concoction, is not shy and will introduce itself fairly rapidly.  

The first flavor I tried was “Wild Berry & Pomegranate.” My first question when drinking it was “What, exactly, is ‘Wild Berry’?” Interestingly, the only thing we find on the can is “natural flavors.” In fact, it’s only when I go to their website do I find a picture of raspberries and a blackberry. That’s right: a picture. It doesn’t say that those are the specific fruits, but I’m assuming that’s the case.

As for “A touch sweet,” whenever I see that I think of it as a euphemism for “This isn’t going to be sweet at all.” But that’s not the case here—there’s a strong and pleasant sweetness that my abused palate would attribute to both the cane sugar and the fruit flavors. And yes, I said cane sugar…luckily there are no revolting fake sugars to be found within. 

The other interesting thing I noticed is the wording regarding the adaptogen blend on the website: “Each bottle contains 300mg of our proprietary Adaptogen blend, infused with Ashwagandha, Reishi Mushroom, and Ginseng.” So that would lead me to think the “Adaptogen blend” is 300mg but that’s infused with the stuff, not 300mg of the the stuff itself. At least that’s how it reads. But on the can, it says the yerba mate is blended with 300mg of the adaptogens. What does all this mean? I have no idea. I am no alchemist, nor do I play one on the internet. The website may be old text since it refers to bottles…and they don’t appear to sell bottles. 

As to the experience of drinking the thing, I would call it above average for a drink where yerba mate is involved. It felt like the flavors were all having a bit of wrestling match in my mouth, but it was not by any stretch of the imagination bad. As to how all the adaptogenic material worked as far as helping my focus, no idea how to even judge that. And besides, it’s unfair to ask anything that isn’t prescription strength to help me focus, honestly. I will say that I felt a temporary lift from imbibing it, but I would attribute that to the 150mg of caffeine you get out of the tea inclusion.

The other flavor is Blood Orange & Mango. At least with this flavor, it states what it is straightaway. And you can taste both in it, which is good. The mate does have a bit of an edge on it, so it’s not unpleasant, but between the two, I’d re-drink the mysterious Wild Berry concoction. Still, this drink had the flavors more in…um, harmony? Perhaps. They came through the doorway together, so to speak, just with the mate trying to elbow its way through. 

Bottom line: the drinks are pretty good, both from an energy drink perspective and from a taste perspective. If you needed to stay awake a little bit longer, this might work for you. But: your mileage may vary. Professional driver on a closed course.