Food Feature: Liquid Relief for the Dog Days of Summer

A local company has come to the thirst-quenching rescue with DRINKmelon, the industry’s first pure watermelon water.

By Linda J. Mazurek

A look at DRINKmelon. Photo: DRINKmaple

Ah, August. The most languid and arguably best month of the year, full of long, lazy days fueled by an abundance of the absolute tastiest native produce of the year: succulent corn, delectable tomatoes, and super sweet peaches, whose juices run down your chin, no matter how you try to corral them. Unfortunately, it’s also the time of the worst of the HHHs, but nature has a cure for that: watermelon! Most of us reach for a nice ice-cold sweet wedge when thirst hits, and nothing hits the spot quite like it. But it’s not convenient to carry wedges around with us everywhere. Luckily a local company has come to the rescue with DRINKmelon, the industry’s first pure watermelon water. Sold in a 12-ounce plastic bottle, the beverage can easily be taken anywhere, for a quick hydrating hit on those sultry days.

DRINKmelon is a single-ingredient beverage made from 100% domestically sourced watermelons harvested at their peak of ripeness. Processed at the company’s plant in St. Alban’s, Vermont, the fruit is peeled, then juiced before undergoing a gentle filtration process in order to preserve the water’s freshness and multiple nutritional benefits. Each batch is taste-tested before bottling to ensure the highest quality and freshness. Each serving has 80 calories and 20 grams of carbs.

Most of us think that watermelon is only water and sugar, but this refreshing fruit is surprisingly loaded with nutrients. It contains many naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, notably potassium, citrulline, lycopene, and Vitamin C. DRINKmelon also offers a dose of heart-healthy hydration and digestive benefits, and has been proven to boost athletic performance and aide in muscle recovery, something very important to the company’s two founders, both Ironman triathletes.

DRINKmelon is produced by DRINKmaple, headquartered in St. Albans, Vermont (but founded in Concord, Mass., and still with an office there), which first introduced premium pure maple water to the market in 2014. Founded by Kate Weiler, a passionate advocate for nutrition and holistic wellness with a master’s in nutrition, and Jeff Rose, a technical specialist with 20 years of logistics and supply management experience, DRINKmelon is the second pure water beverage in their arsenal.

DRINKmaple is the beverage industry’s first pure maple water. Photo: DRINKmaple.

“Jeff and I have always loved the ultra-hydrating properties of watermelon, along with the functional benefits of amino acid citrulline, which is naturally found in watermelon, so we decided to launch DRINKmelon as our next product,” explained Weiler. “We include the rind when we juice our watermelons, as there are significant nutritional benefits that we found in the rind, and it actually decreases the sugar.”

The couple discovered maple water’s subtly sweet taste and naturally hydrating benefits – and their new career – while competing in an Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. They were hooked after their first taste and learning about the hydrating benefits, and sought to find a pure source of maple water when they returned to the United States. DRINKmaple was born soon after. Fast-forward three and a half years, and the product is widely available throughout the United States, attesting to its uniqueness, health benefits, and taste.

“Though we have launched additional skus, our flagship product is still our maple water. We have been focusing on growing awareness, but the irony of maple water is, it is one simple ingredient but hard for people to understand what it is, at first glance,” says Weiler. “This is pure, organic water, straight out of a maple tree. Nothing else. It is not sticky, it’s not sweet, and it’s half the sugar of coconut water. Once people try it, they realize that it is refreshing, super hydrating, not sweet, and tastes delicious! Our brand has expanded with additional skus, but we still stand for what we always have: bringing deliciously simple, healthy products to market.” The water contains an amazing 46 nutrients; each serving has 30 calories and 8 grams of carbs.

The additional skus Weiler refers to, introduced just last fall, are two new maple flavors, raspberry lemon maple and grapefruit maple, and a tart cherry watermelon.

DRINKmaple co-founders Kate Weiler and Jeff Rose in a maple grove in Vermont. Photo: DRINKmaple.

“After years of experimenting, we created flavors that were equally as refreshing and delicious. With a subtle hint of raspberry lemon and grapefruit, these beverages still drink like water and not juice, and are just as refreshing as our original maple.”

“We will introduce some more exciting new products as we continue our mission to bring deliciously simple plant-based beverages to market to help people hydrate and fuel their healthy active lifestyle,” promises Weiler.

So, with a nice range of flavors, consumers can hydrate naturally – and deliciously – year round. DRINKmelon and DRINKmaple are sold in 12 ounce bottles for about $2.99 in many stores throughout New England, including Whole Foods, Stop & Shop, CVS, and Hannaford. The waters are also available nationwide. Multi-packs and mixed packs ($9.99 to $35.99, with free domestic shipping) are available on the company’s Web site: drinkmaple.

Linda J. Mazurek is an award-winning communications professional, with more than 25 years of writing and editing experience. Blending this with her passion for food, she has written more than 90 articles since late 2006, published both online and in print, including nine in The Boston Globe’s food section.

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