Arriba Horchata energy drink




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Posted April 23, 2016 by

Arriba energy drink has burst out of the gate and flew into  7-11 stores all around me, and as I am a HUGE fan of the rice-milk cinnamon-y goodness that is Horchata, I knew that I would be knocking quite a few of these back over the summer.  I have had a couple horchata based energy drinks before, and truthfully I was excited to have one that taste the way horchatas taste – even though that meant the drink would have to be dairy, and appeal to a very specific market and flavor profile.    The people who buy horchata drinks are not necessarily the same people who buy Red Bulls.   However, the latino energy drink community in Denver is huge, and I can definitely see this becoming quite popular al around the city.
Clean and sparse, Arriba energy gets the point across with a minimum of clutter.   The can is  11ounces, so it is larger than all the 8 ounce Red Bulls but stands out from the 16 ounce Monsters and Rockstars too.  From the first look, you would not think this is even an energy drink – as it looks like it could be a RTD horchata or coffee based drink before you see the word energy on it.  Rather than go the XTREME route, they just have the copy and a vanilla bean/cinnamon illustration.  I like the packaging, it just looks like a horchata drink that has energy, rather than an energy drink that is horchata flavored.  Functionally it works well – listing the caffeine and other nutrients separately and makes them easy to find, keeping the copy to a minimum.
Taste: 9
If you like horchatas you will love it.   There is no denying this is a great take on a canned version of one of my favorite drinks.   Horchatas usually come ice cold, served from a ladle into a gigantic styrofoam cup.  I have had other, more instant varieties (both in cans and the powdered kind)  and they have all been failures.   I thought that there would be no way to accurately make a RTD horchata drink, let alone an energy drink variety – but I was wrong, WAY wrong.
Describing a horchata flavor is hard, as the flavor is not made up of its parts.   Its a mix of sweet rice milk and skim milk, cinnamon and vanilla.  I have tried making it myself at the house and have had very poor results.  Arriba does the flavor dead on.  When served cold, it is creamy sweet deliciousness.  You can not even taste the energy ingredients in here – noting but smooth spiced heaven.
While I appreciate the gesture, the 75 mg of caffeine in the 11 ounce can is pretty standard fare.  When you keep in mind that your average Red Bull is 80mg in an 8 ounce can, I would take finishing off a couple of them before you felt any real pep from it.  For people who regularly consume energy drinks, I think you will find them wanting more from their beverage. While I am not sure you would need a powerhouse of caffeine, I would hope for a bit more power behind it.
Nutritionally, Arriba is sitting solid.  There is an undisclosed amount of energy drink supplements in here, including inositol, taurine, ginseng and a mix of Vitamin B.  There is also potassium so it is hydrating.   That being said, this would make an awful post workout drink.  Firstly, it has 200 calories, as to be expected with a milk-based drink that is as delicious as this.Having that milk base also means it is full of preservatives and such ( although it does not taste like it at all).  I like the convenience of finding my horchata and my energy together at a 711.  It is real horchata and flavorful too.




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