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Agwa de Bolivia Coca Leaf Liqueur

Agwa de Bolivia
Coca Leaf Liqueur


By Robert Plotkin

One of the most direct paths to success for any bar or cocktail lounge is to develop a stable of drinks so delicious and so singular that the masses have only one place to get them. It's challenging to create unique concoctions when you stock the backbar with the same spirits and liqueurs as your competitors. No, success in this business requires hunting down products that the other guys have yet to discover.

A textbook example is Agwa de Bolivia Coca Leaf Liqueur, an intriguing and unabashedly alluring elixir from Amsterdam. Trust that there's nothing remotely like it.

The liqueur is crafted from handpicked coca leaves grown in remote areas of the Andes Mountains of Bolivia. There are only three times a year that the leaves can be harvested and brought to market; after which they are shipped under armed guard to a state of the art distillery in Amsterdam. The coca leaves are immediately macerated in tea and distilled in a pot still to 82% alcohol by volume.

After the narcotic compounds are removed, the natural coca leaf distillate is then blended with 36 different herbs indigenous to Bolivia, a proprietary mix that includes guarana, ginseng, Chinese green tea, African mint, cucumber, lavender and yerba mate. It is bottled at 30% alcohol by volume (60 proof).

Agwa de Bolivia Coca Leaf Liqueur is in a class by itself. The liqueur has an alluring chartreuse/green hue, a satiny lightweight body and a bouquet of citrus, spice and fresh herbs. Its wafting aromatics are truly worth the price of admission. It quickly bathes the palate with a warm blanket of baking spices, herbs, vanilla and luscious star anise. The flavors persist long into the dry finish. It's rare to find a liqueur so delectable that it can be fully appreciated straight from the bottle. Agwa de Bolivia Coca Leaf Liqueur is such a product.

The cocktail generation has greatly increased the demand for herbal liqueurs like this one. Mixologists looking to create an unrivaled range of drinks need look no further than Agwa de Bolivia Coca Leaf Liqueur. Plus, when it's chilled to 0°F, the liqueur forms ice crystals that concentrate the green color and intensify its flavors.

Between its textured body, spicy bouquet and brilliant set of flavors, the liqueur is like a visa to exotic shores. That it has a fascinating backstory and a discernible stimulating affect is an added bonus.