Most people need their morning pick-me-up to get the day started right. There's a Starbucks on every corner and caffeine "shots" are sold in convenience stores everywhere. Even Mountain Dew is getting in on the action with its new KickStart "breakfast" drink (whatever that means).
With a whopping 5% real fruit juice!
But the king of all energy drinks is Red Bull. People chug the stuff like there's no tomorrow, and it's become a popular mixer in alcoholic drinks. So popular that Eamon Rockey and Shiraz Noor of Aska restaurant in Brooklyn decided to make their own.
The ingredients are much simpler (and infinitely better for you) than the ones in the pre-canned stuff, but the process is quite a...well, process.
They start by making an oleo saccharum syrup from citrus peels and sugar, which are left to ferment for 2 to 3 weeks.
Next, they make a "tea" from ginseng and citrus peels, which is then added to a combination of sugar, caffeine, and taurine while it's still hot. After chilling the mixture, they add ginkgo biloba, a memory and concentration enhancer, and the oleo saccharum syrup.
The mixture is then filtered through a mesh strainer and bottled. To serve, they mix it with pear cider over ice (for a non-alcoholic version you could use a sparkling juice). Check out the video to see them make a batch.
If you want to speed up the process a bit, you could substitute a pre-made citrus syrup for the oleo saccharum, although it probably won't taste quite as good. It may take a while, but the end result is a great natural alternative to bottled and canned energy drinks.