It was a blazing day in early May and I was bicycling through rural Louisiana. The roads were terrible and a few flat tires had my fellow cyclists and I frustrated, overheated, and trying to find the will to keep moving forward. We pulled into a butcher’s on a lonely main street to find some air-conditioning and hydration, a chance for a brief respite from the heat. But what we found was more than just relief. What we found was a way of life, a new kind of sustenance, and a drink to end all drinks – we had come across Gatorade’s Limon Pepino.
Gatorade put out Limon Pepino, which translates to Lime-Cucumber, some time in 2011, as part of their G-Series “Nuestro Sabor” line. On first blush, it looks like any other Gatorade flavor – a strange unnatural color served in a massive plastic jug. But upon opening of the bottle, there’s something different. It smells cool. Almost like an actual cucumber, the drink is mild, soft to the palette, with the kick of lime that one would find in a drink actually made of limon and pepino. We bought one bottle, and then we bought another. Quickly, we laid out a new plan for the day, one that would minimize our exposure to the heat. And we had a new plan for the rest of our bike trip – to drink as much Limon Pepino as possible.
Haven’t heard of this beautiful elixir? That’s probably because as part of its “nuestro sabor” initiative, the flavor is mostly sold in southern states with high Hispanic populations. Scanning for the flavor on shelves upon my return to the northeast proved fruitless (pepino-less) – they just don’t stock it up here. In a panic, I scanned the Internet for an explanation, and it was there that I found other like-minded Limon Pepino lovers, those who’ve had their lives changed by this sweet ambrosia.
On the Limon Pepino Fan Club Facebook Page, a Facebook user perfectly described the sensation of that first sip: “This Gatorade changed my life, thank you so much for the cool crisp taste that makes my body tingle with joy.”
Other people who have experienced Limon Pepino have seen their lives change, and not for the better. Sometimes, the distance between one and that beautiful experience can be too much to bear. A reviewer on Amazon wrote:
“I had this while I was in California and the taste has haunted me ever sense. Everything I eat or drink can't compare with the taste of this, my soul feels incomplete and I wake up in the middle of the night crying and punching my wall because I am so upset I can't get this where I live. If you get this be warned your life will change and you will know what true love is.”
One would think this take a bit radical, but digging further on the Internet reveals even more levels of infatuation. One reviewer who has experienced the ultimate in Gatorade refreshment wrote: “I first found this at a gas station in rural Pennsylvania. My girlfriend was skeptical but I knew, before I even laid hands on this bottle of magic elixir, that I had found my electrolyte soul mate. I've since found it in some 7-11s and other convenience stores.”
But many others haven’t been as lucky as to come across it again. Myself included. Since asking Gatorade about how best to obtain Limon Pepino in person (the online mark-up is ridiculous), I’ve been informed that it is being sold in New York City, but the company has refused to go into specifics about exactly where I might find it. Until then, I’m left with the beautiful online community I have found, a collection of beverage enthusiasts who have tasted the ultimate in refreshment, and, as if booted from Eden, yearn with all their heart to return, yet wander barren lands filled with inferior beverages, devoid of true refreshment.