AGWA de Bolivia Coca Leaf Liqueur has a fantastic story behind it. Coca leaves are flown from Bolivia to Amsterdam under armed guard and these leaves are used to create a Coca Leaf Liqueur which captures the essence of this leaf. It doesn’t hurt the mystique that Coca Leaf is the origin plant for cocaine.
It’s a great story and it gives AGWA de Bolivia the kind of taboo excitement that only a spirit like absinthe used to get. Beyond the hype and hoopla, Coca Leaf actually has a fantastic taste. We’ve had it infused in other spirits (most recently a coca pisco, which is a traditional infusion) and it has a terrific and almost indescribable herbal, vegetal taste that is slightly bitter and slightly spicy.
AGWA de Bolivia Coca Leaf Liqueur (60 proof – $30) – Bright green in color, the AGWA de Bolivia stands out on the back bar as it almost glows. When frozen the spirit clouds up and looks almost luminescent. The nose on the AGWA de Bolivia is distinctly citrus with sweet lemon-lime notes reminiscent of a Sprite soda. Underneath are some slightly floral and herbal notes, and the slightest bit of spice. The entry is sweet with lemon and lime dominating and slightly herbal and vegetal/aloe notes just behind. In the mid-palate the AGWA de Bolivia picks up a slightly woodsy spice that carries through the finish. The AGWA de Bolivia has a very nice finish which blends the woodsy herbal spice with the sweet lime notes.
We tried AGWA de Bolivia both at room temperature and from the freezer. Room temperature AGWA de Bolivia is more herbaceous and spicy, while from the freezer it becomes a lot sweeter and citrusy.
AGWA de Bolivia seems to be aimed at the ‘shots’ market, and in that space it steps in very well as a good alternative to heavier and sweeter herbal liqueurs (like Jaegermeister). The lime and herbal notes go very well in a mint-forward drink like the mojito but we suspect that the greatest consumption of AGWA de Bolivia will be as a shot with some sort of energy drink back.
AGWA de Bolivia – captures the unique essence of the coca leaf and packages it together in a very easy drinking liqueur. While it may not be for everyone (some of the panel didn’t care for the taste), those who like its unique taste will get hooked. It’s a vastly improved option for a nightclub shot and its folklorish backstory makes it even more appealing when you buy a round for friends. Fun, tasty and well made, AGWA de Bolivia is