Fast Food 

Vbase gives bar-goers a spring in their step

Vodka is the latest addition to the long list of ingredients in the Base Energy Drink, a popular nightclub beverage.

"The majority of Base that is sold in bars is drunk with vodka so we thought ‘let’s make our own vodka and let’s put it in there,’" said promoter Eric Blouin.

Vbase, is the alcoholic version of the Base Concept Inc. line and is 7 per cent vodka. It is loaded with echinacea to boost the immune system and ginko biloba to increase mental capacity. The vodka on the other hand, has the opposite effect.

Two other additives to the base energy cocktail are guarana, to boost energy and prevent fatigue, and ginseng to regulate energy and reduce stress.

Vbase also contains sodium and potassium, the active minerals in sports drinks, to rehydrate the body and perhaps soften the blow of a vodka-induced hangover the next day.

"Dehydration gives you the hangover, but because you are drinking potassium and sodium with it, you won’t feel bad all day," said Blouin.

"What’s great with Base and vodka, you can drink as much as you want then tomorrow morning you will feel fine, I’ll put you to the test," he said.

Blouin said the problem with energy drinks is that they don’t look good and they taste like medicine.

"We added cranberry juice and dewberry to Base, so it looks good and it tastes good. Bartenders are stoked to sell a good-looking drink," he said.

There is no caffeine or taurine in the Base Energy Drink. Taurine is banned in Canada but permitted in some other countries. It’s found beverages such as Red Bull that are marketed as energy drinks.

"It’s (Red Bull containing caffeine and taurine) a very aggressive drink on your body, it’s the equivalent to drinking a cup and half of coffee, and taurine is illegal in Canada," said Blouin.

"It’s banned in a lot of countries, including Canada, because it’s a controversial ingredient and has potential harmful effects. Some people can’t break down the synthetic amino acid in their body."

Red Bull is marketed as a vitamin supplement in Canada and contains no taurine or caffeine. Its main ingredients are water, sugar and vitamin B.

"Vbase is definitely better for you than a cup of coffee, it contains no caffeine so it doesn’t dehydrate you and it increases your ability to concentrate" said Blouin.

Base was created by four Montrealers, in 2001. Whistler was the second place to carry the drink in Canada.

Vbase has already been launched in Ontario. B.C will receive the product before Quebec, due to the stricter laws with launching an alcoholic beverage in Quebec.

"People think that Quebec is very liberal, but it’s very difficult to launch an alcoholic product in our own province, so too bad. B.C is the second province to launch Vbase after Ontario," Blouin said.

Vbase was launched in Ontario in May.

Base Concept Inc. will market Vbase to Whistler club managers at an official launch at the Savage Beagle on Aug. 14.

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