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Club Mate Is The Hipster Energy Drink You Need To Try

Berlin's best kept secret.

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It's a plant-based energy drink, kind of like a cola, but lighter. The taste is unusual and hard to describe.

Twitter: @halfcube

"Your first sip tastes like horse urine filtered through hay", according to one enthusiast. I'd say it's more like a cross between tonic water and Lucozade.

The drink is particularly popular among developers, who find its caffeine content helps them focus.

Instagram: @clubmateusa

For that reason it's been dubbed Hacker-Brause, or "hacker fizz". The drink also has vague hipster connotations. There's a lot of it on Instagram.

It certainly gives you a lift - after drinking my first bottle I could feel my heart pound, and I'm big coffee drinker with a high caffeine tolerance.

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Which explains why clubbers mix it with vodka, creating a drink known as Turbo Mate - Berliners' version of a vodka Red Bull.

Club Mate is just one of many drinks derived from Yerba mate, a plant that grows in South America and has been consumed there as tea for thousands of years.

en.wikipedia.org

Other versions of Club Mate include a Winter Edition that's spiced with cinnamon and can be drunk warm, like mulled wine.

Though the drink has a cult following in America, it's pretty hard to find outside Germany.

Instagram: @lakulturestrasbourg

So if you want to try it, you'll most likely have to order it yourself online.

Instagram: @clubmateturkey

UPDATE

According to Kristof Partyka, who distributes the drink via Club Mate UK, 100 venues in the UK stock Club Mate. He says demand is rising - sales in the UK increased 35% in 2015 - with a strong following among students in particular. "We notice that sales of Club-Mate grow strongly before and during exams," he tells BuzzFeed.

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