It’s time to try a herbal liqueur that will make you change the way you think of herbal spirits, Agwa de Bolivia. The liqueur is bright green, almost like an extra filtered lime juice or some of that fake Rose’s Lime Juice. From start to finish, this spirit is unique and can be considered in a category by itself.
Made from Bolivian Coca Leaves Agwa is probably best served within a cocktail such as that of a Margarita or served with a bit of lime and a bite which they call The Bolivian Kiss. I couldn’t be satisfied with just utilizing it in a cocktail, I had to try it in a glass to see what it adds to the drinks.
Stand alone, Agwa is a bit intense, perhaps chilled a bit more and a dash of lime would make it a little easier to drink. By itself, it has a ton of flavors in the aroma and they took me over twenty minutes to search my memory banks for its unique scents. I got some flavor of a loose green tea but that didn’t cover the aromas I was finding… it was vapor rub! Yes, Vick’s Vapor rub is what I can best say describes the aroma. That bright eucalyptus attack with herbs and light “green” images bouncing all over the place in my mind.
By itself, a sip leads you to eucalyptus with fresh and crisp herbal tea and maybe a bit of sweet honey. The finish continues to mount and leave an almost-mint refreshing taste that extends well beyond 20 seconds.
I tried their suggestion on the Bolivian Kiss recipe, I added some lime to a half-shot of Agwa then bit a lime and took the shot. It was bright, powerful and had a sour that made you shake our head from its bite and left you with a greeny herbal finish. Overall, the flavors pared well with the lime but still is really going to be a turn off to those that hate sour cocktails.
I then tried this spirit with Agwa‘s other suggestion, a Margarita. This is where Agwa shined the best in my opinion. I’m a huge fan of the Margarita with a bit of agave nectar, lime and, of course, Tequila (I used Cielo Reposado for this experiment). The margarita hid most of the flavors of the stand alone Agwa product but the spirit rose back to life in the second half of the taste of our cocktail.
The Agwa brings in more natural herbal flavors that almost accent the lime and agave and make it a bit more authentic to that of a backyard farm. It is almost as if Agwa brings a bit more depth than simply adding orange because its herbal flavor pairs well with the herbal agave within good tequila. It doesn’t hurt that everyone adds an orange accent to a margarita, but nobody brings eucalyptus herbal qualities like a tea to their cocktails. Honestly, I’d not have guessed Agwa was part of the flavors of the cocktail with just a single drink but I could definitely tell it wasn’t the same as your typical margarita flavor… but could the average drinker figure out why had had different flavor properties? Probably not.
Agwa compliments the margarita without overpowering it, something that happens very easily with Jägermeister in cocktails. I believe it may be a bit easier to add Agwa to a cocktail without it becoming the center of attention in the cocktail and that’s the most important part of this spirit.
I want to add flavors to my cocktail without my cocktail becoming the one-dimensional flavor experience, Agwa gives you what you need to change things up and create your own signature to the standard cocktail library.