On a day when you’re feeling draggy, and you’re walking by the dairy case at the grocery store, how can you resist a drink called “Rocket Fuel?”

Rocket Fuel is a coffee milk that’s been kicked up a notch. Unlike other brands – overly sweet blends of coffee and milk – this one is rich but well balanced, with a strong coffee flavor.

Carson Lynch, the owner of Gorham Grind, is the creator of Rocket Fuel. Back in 2008, when he was doing a lot of tent-and-table-style vending and catering, Lynch wanted to come up with a ready-to-go, latte-like drink he could take on the road to festivals and other events. It took six months of experimentation, but ultimately he made an espresso syrup using double-brewed dark coffee and combined it with caramelized sugar and a blend of Maine dairy products – whole milk, nonfat milk and half & half.

Maybe it’s the sugar, not just the caffeine that’s helping with the energy boost? Rocket Fuel packs a pretty big wallop when it comes to calories, saturated fat and sugar. The 16-ounce bottle contains 360 calories, 7 grams of saturated fat and a whopping 54 grams of sugar. But Lynch argues that the drink is a treat, not for daily consumption. “It’s meant to be a little decadent.”

Lynch can do variations on the drink in his Gorham shop, including a vegan version.

Rocket Fuel is also on the shelves at Whole Foods in Portland, Mr. Bagel in Gorham, Tiller & Rye in Brewer, and Friendly Discount Beverage in Westbrook and Portland. The suggested retail price is $4.99 We paid $5.49 at Whole Foods.

— MEREDITH GOAD


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