Review: Hiyo Sparking Social Tonic, Complete Lineup

Review: Hiyo Sparking Social Tonic, Complete Lineup

The sober-curious drink market continues to expand, featuring nootropics as the agent of mood-enhancement to forego the detrimental affect of alcohol, with the added claim of increased health benefits.  (FYI – The FDA are warning against the proliferation of unsubstantiated claims surrounding nootropics. So to each their own.)

Nootropics are a general category of drugs of which caffeine is included. Also included in this category are most superfood darlings such as cordyceps, ashwagandha extract, l-theanine, and lion’s mane, each of which is becoming more ubiquitous by the day.

Today we’re exploring the trio of flavors in the “social tonic” line offered by Hiyo: Watermelon Lime, Peach Mango, and Blackberry Lemon. The founders’ inspiration comes from a similar rationale to that of other producers in the nootropics-based, sober-curious category: People drink alcohol to achieve a certain mood or feeling – and often at a cost to one’s mental and physical health and well-being. The drinks were created to offer a better way for “those chasing a new feeling; we call ours ‘the float.'” (For the sake of comparison, we recently reviewed a mood-enhancing spirits-alternative drink called Confidence, which offers many of the same functional ingredients.) Hiyo starts with a carbonated water base that is infused with the aforementioned adaptogens and nootropics, with flavors provided by organic juices. All are 0% abv, as expected.

Let’s get to them.

Hiyo Watermelon Lime Sparking Social Tonic – Upon first whiff and taste, I had immediate flashbacks to Jolly Ranchers hard candies and Haribo gummy bears; and those brands specifically. Both these brands have mastered a certain hallmark mellowness to their confections that you know in your heart of hearts is incredibly sweet, but which doesn’t taste too sweet nor cloying. You savor these slowly and never feel over-sated. The juicy sweetness of watermelon is given a nice tanginess from the lime. The carbonation feels less like it’s trying to sparkle and more like its fizziness works to make the fruity flavors more sophisticated. It’s somehow very sweet and not too sweet at the same time. It does have a calming effect, but I’m attributing that to the nostalgia of the beloved candies. 7% juice content. A- 

Hiyo Peach Mango Sparking Social Tonic – This particular flavor calls to mind the clear Haribo gummies, which technically are a pineapple flavor; but it is strikingly mimicked in this drink by the alchemy of peach and mango infused with the nootropics and botanicals. Slightly less fizz, but equally pleasing to linger over. 5% juice content. A-

Hiyo Blackberry Lemon Sparking Social Tonic – The floral botanicals are very pronounced here, to the point where I felt like I was smelling and drinking a scented candle. I detect the blackberry; the lemon isn’t obvious, but its combination with the carbonation provides a slight punch to the drink. It’s not completely offensive, but it is a bit distracting to drink since all I can think of are candles. And although candles are soothing, in this case it has a slightly opposite effect. 6% juice content. B-

Overall I do find these to be pleasant “social tonics,” and a nice option for venturing into moments of sober-curiosity.

each $45 per 12-pack of 355ml cans /

Hiyo Peach Mango Sparking Social Tonic




Monica is an incurable dilettante, who is relentlessly curious about books, brews (the coffee kind) and bourbons.


  1. Maria on August 3, 2021 at 1:00 am

    I’ve tried hiyo three different times. Each time after a drink one I get a headache, my chest & stomach hurt. Not a good drink. Very disappointed

  2. Ivy rohe on August 15, 2022 at 5:58 pm

    So far I’ve tried one of each flavor. The watermelon lime and peach mango are quite good. The blackberry one made my lips and tongue tingle…or maybe it’s because it was the third one I had. Not sure how I’m feeling. I’m definitely relaxed and feel slower but unsure of the “float” sensation. Comparable to a glass or two of wine but they say to not drink anymore than 4. Will see how long the effects last. I’m on the fence. I don’t know if I’ll try again. Overall I’d say I’d give them a 3 out of 5.

  3. Liv on January 19, 2023 at 8:36 am

    Drink 2 last night for the first time. A little on the sweet side for me. Tried the mango and blackberry. Gave me a tingling sensation in my mouth. Made me “relaxed” and tired. Slept great, but have felt groggy all morning long. Very similar to when I tried CBD seltzers. It’s great I avoided alcohol, but woke up with a hangover which I usually don’t get with alcohol.

  4. Kristen on February 13, 2023 at 9:48 am

    I was hoping to like Hiyo, but both times I tried it, my heart rate went very low (in the 40’s). For me, the low heart rate stayed that way for 12-24 hours. Two Hiyos in one evening triggered an ocular migraine. Sadly, I won’t be trying it again.

    • Teresa on April 15, 2023 at 9:40 am

      I love this product! In 2020, I drank every day due to pandemic. July of 2020 my oldest daughter was killed. After that I became a functional alcoholic, never went one day without drinking some days more than I knew I should.

      But I tried this product and it completely changed me. I’m on my 12th day without any alcohol.

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