Herbn Love a tonic for your romance life?

Posted: June 04, 2003

LAST WEEK, four cans of a trendy new aphrodisiac drink called Herbn Love arrived at my apartment. I didn't know what to do with them.

Let's backtrack.

A few days before, I saw Channel 10 reporter Cherie Bank interview local bar-goers and sex-perts about the recently launched love potion. The organic concoction was created in Southern California and made in Wisconsin. All agreed the stuff just might work.

So I checked out Herbn Love's Web site, where I found a glowing heart, soft porn soundtrack, exotic-sounding list of herbs like damiana leaf, muira-puama, tribulus, astragalus and guarana, and the words, "Can an herbal supplement drink make you irresistible?"

That's when I called up to request a sample, but when the four red and silver 8-ounce cans of love potion arrived printed with the words, "Let the sweet buzz of pure loving energy enfold you," I wasn't exactly sure how to proceed.

I considered passing the stuff out to friends at a weekly knitting group, but then reminded myself: It's a knitting group. I thought about downing a few, but how would I measure the irresistibility part? And there was no way I planned to share it with my coupled friends - I didn't want to hear about their "results."

Stumped, I left the little cans to fend for themselves on my kitchen table Friday night and met my pal Jen at Old City's Continental - same place Ms. Bank surveyed the tonic - to do some research.

We grabbed the last two barstools and asked the bartender for some Herbn Love. His response was, well, let's just say he didn't recommend the stuff. Neither did a nearby waitress, who promptly stuck out her tongue to indicate her, um, opinion of the drink. Apparently, not all locals are feelin' the Love just yet.

So Jen and I ordered a couple of "Absolute Loves," Herbn Love + Absolut vodka. The first sip tasted like weak, sweet herbal tea and left a bitter flavor. But halfway through our cocktails, we had to admit it wasn't so bad. And was it our imagination, or was the bar getting more and more crowded with cuties?

To get an objective opinion, I bought one for a bystander named Tracey. "It's kind of good after you drink it for a while," Tracey said, but before we could ask her how she felt, she'd taken off - maybe to look for Mr. Right?

Jen and I gave it one more try, this time mixing the tonic with equal parts pineapple and Absolut Vanilla, served straight up. Much better.

I wasn't sure if the herbs were working, but the sugar definitely made my heart go pitter-pat. And a couple of guys approached Jen (but guys are often approaching Jen.)

At the end of the night, I began yawning when the sugar wore off - and no, no love connections were made, Herbn or otherwise. *

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