Club Mate is the color of beer, and tastes like a watered down ginger ale. It has a descent amount of caffeine and less sugar than most soft drinks (about 27 grams per bottle, which at hope is a .5 liter bottle). I overheard in the elevator that after you finish one, you will be hooked for life. I would not say that I am hooked for life, but I am willing to drink it the rest of the con, and see how I feel towards the end about it.
#1 The first club mate was okay, I was expecting something that tasted very earthy, thankfully it was much milder than I anticipated. It did give me that little boost I was looking for to get me through the day. Overall I can tolerate it, but will be keeping my eye open for a Jolt (yes I could pick up a Jolt at Rite Aid, but it just isn't the same; and more importantly won't be as cold).
#2 The second was drank in record time, it is over 95 degrees in New York and at that temp if it's drinkable, then it is perfect.
#3 After quenching my thirst, I focused on the actual taste, which wasn't bad. I really started to enjoy the club mate, and one thing is for sure the colder it is, the better it tastes.
In conclusion, I am not hooked on the mate, but I would definitely drink it again. The little amount of sugar and considerable amount of caffeine make it a great alternative to sodas and sports drinks. Yet another way in which the good people of HOPE continue to expand our horizons.