Filed under: Spirits
Looking for something interesting to serve or drink at a cocktail party? Look no further than AGWA de Bolivia, which is considered to be the world's first and only spirit derived from coca leaf. The translucent green liqueur is delicious and needs little else but some fresh lime juice and a couple of ice cubes, if you prefer it chilled (see the gallery below for cocktail recipes featuring AGWA de Bolivia).
AGWA contains guarana, an extract from the seeds of Paullina Cupana (which contains caffeine); ginseng (a stimulant); and approximately 40 grams of coca leaf in every bottle. The effect of drinking AGWA is different than that of other types of alcohol due to the coca leaf. The coca leaf alkaloids work by speeding up the rate of absorption of oxygen into the body's capillary system. It is a natural 'rush' that improves stamina and is similar to the "oxygen buzz" one gets when chewing coca leaves or drinking coca leaf tea at high altitudes in the Andes (as anyone who has visited Machu Picchu or Cusco, Peru can attest). Biting a lime after drinking AGWA activates the alkaloids in the coca.