Another love potion

Nexcite, an aphrodisiac geared toward women, finds its only Indiana home at the Blue Bottle.

Women, get out your bottle openers.

For years, men have had an aid for sexual enhancement - the prescription drug Viagra. With herbal beverage supplements popping up on store shelves next to colas and sports drinks, it is no wonder a Swedish company decided to cash in on the herbal trend.

The only difference is this product is an aphrodisiac geared toward women.

Formerly called Niagara, Nexcite is an herbal aphrodisiac drink. While men cannot get their hands on enhancement drugs unless they visit a doctor, women can visit a local coffee shop for an over-the-counter fix.

Sophomore Brian Keegan volunteered to be Nexcite's Indiana distributor. He and his father operate a beverage distribution company in Angola. Keegan said the Nexcite account was left up to him.

The product is currently offered in one location in Indiana - the Blue Bottle Coffee Shop, 1716 W. University Ave.

"I thought, 'How perfect could it be,'" Keegan said. "The bottle is even blue."

Keegan said he began discussing Nexcite with Blue Bottle owner Tom Steiner in late July.

"It was an interesting product," Steiner said. "It has generated a lot of conversation."

Steiner said Blue Bottle customers often come to him with questions about the product's effectiveness in increasing a woman's libido.

"It's love in a bottle," Steiner said. "People have said that is absolutely correct.

"(But) I don't ask because it is none of my business."

The drink's effects on women vary from increased energy to increased sensitivity, Keegan said.

Steiner said another common question is whether or not men can drink Nexcite. Steiner and Keegan said they have both tried the drink.

"It tastes pretty good," Steiner said. "It's very refreshing."

Steiner described the drink as one with fine bubbles, like a champagne. Nexcite also has a berry-like flavor, Katie Schoenfeldt, a junior and Blue Bottle barista, said.

Schoenfeldt said she drank Nexcite once and enjoyed it.

"I was pretty bored at the time," she said. "After I drank it, I felt perkier and it increased my energy."

Keegan said the product has a similar, energy-increasing effect when men drink it.

"If I need to study, I drink a bottle," Keegan said. "It gives me three to four hours of energy."

The energy comes from herbal supplements like ginseng, guarana and damania. The ginseng helps increase physical and mental energy as the damania increases sexual appetite. Guarana is a source of the stimulant caffeine.

Because of the caffeine content, the product label warns against consumption by pregnant women, children, and people sensitive to caffeine.

The product can be mixed with alcohol, Keegan said, but he warns against using the drink as a drug.

"It diminishes the effects of other drugs," Keegan said.

Though the product has remained the same throughout its distribution, the name has changed. Pfizer, the drug company responsible for Viagra, brought up a lawsuit against the Swedish company, stating the product name infringed on the prescription drug, Keegan said.

Since then, the product has been renamed Nexcite. According to the settlement with Pfizer, all products on the shelves with the Niagra label can remain on the shelves until they are sold off. Currently, The Blue Bottle carries Niagra.

Keegan said people should look for products labeled Nexcite to replace those labeled Niagra within the month.

This will not be Keegan's only development in his beverage distribution business. Keegan is currently aiming to distribute in Marion, New Castle, Hartford City and Fort Wayne.

Keegan said all this work is in preparation for Valentine's Day.

"That day is going to be huge," Keegan said. "I want to get all the accounts in place."


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