Happy Hour: AGWA de Bolivia

By: Winston Gieseke

Summer may be slipping away, but it’s never too late in the season to discover a cool new cocktail.

We're enjoying the powerful oxygen buzz of the brand new 60-proof coca leaf liqueur, AGWA de Bolivia.

Coca leaf? Isn't that the plant from which that illegal white powdery stuff comes?

That's right.

Based on a 200-year-old recipe, AGWA combines botanicals and herbs with the famed Bolivian coca leaf. But in order for consumers to pass those random pee tests, AGWA thoughtfully removes all of the cocaine alkaloids during the liqueur’s production, leaving us with a stunningly—almost shockingly—neon green beverage that’s perfectly legal and looks as rad as it tastes. (And here’s a hint: the colder it is, the brighter and groovier the green gets, so I recommend a serious chilling before you chill out with AGWA.)

Just how is AGWA made? First the coca leaves are hand picked at 2000 meters in the Andes and shipped—supposedly under armed guard—to Amsterdam, where the leaves are macerated and de-cocainized. From there the leaf distillate is “rested” before being forwarded to a new facility where 36 other herbs and botanicals are added. The potent high strength flavor formula is then reduced to 60 proof, bottled and—voila!—shipped around the world in a bottle for your imbibing pleasure.




What exactly does it taste like? It’s a delicious blend of lime herbaliciousness that’s so versatile it’s practically the tofu of liquor. You can substitute it for just about anything to jazz up your favorite bevies, whether you’re in the mood for a Bolivian Bloody Mary, a Bolivian Mojito, or a Cocarita. My favorite? The ultra easy Bolivian Kiss. Simply bite into a wedge of lime, throw back a shot of AGWA, and feel a buzz similar to the South American delicacy of chewing coca leaves with limes.

Bottoms up!