Agwa de Bolivia Coca Leaf Liqueur Review
Coca Leaf Liqueur featuring Caffeine, Ginseng and Guarana
Imported from Holland
Alcohol Content: 30% (60 Proof)
Typical Price: Under $30 - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits
We don't drink a lot of liqueurs. Well, that's a lie - we drink a lot of one liqueur in particular (a little drink we like to call Jagermeister...heard of it?). Agwa positions itself as another ass-kicking liqueur, the kind you bring on a bachelor party weekend and get all juiced up on. So of course, when we got our bottle of Agwa, one of our first questions was how it was going to measure up?
Find out after the jump.
The Color: Green
The stuff looks like the Incredible Hulk, and from all we'd read about the different energy-inducing herbs, we expected to get all of the Hulk's powers from the first sip we took. We stood there with the bottle in our hands, envisioning ourselves with super-strength, that crazy vertical leap and some dynamic durability.
The Nose: After Shave...maybe High Karate?
It sounds strange, but we're serious. The first thought we had was of something we'd slap on our face in the morning, not guzzle. It didn't put us off the drink, because we were taking into account the description we noted in our earlier Agwa coverage, that it featured "herby, nutty flavours, (and) there are hints of prunes, clove and aniseed plus eucalyptus."
The Flavors: Dried Fruit, Baking Spices, Mouthwash and...Moxie??
Maybe not everyone is familiar with Moxie, our favorite soft drink, but it's the best description we can come up with - apparently, it gets its flavor from gentian root and Ted Williams. Anyway, say you eat a big prune pie and wash it down with a can of Moxie, then swish it all away with Listerine. That's the flavor you'll have in your mouth after you drink it. And of course, as always, after a couple drinks we didn't think it tasted bad at all.
The Recipes: From Shots to Margaritas to the Bolivian Kiss
After we tried Agwa on its own, we knew its strength was going to be in making cocktails. Yeah, we know we're damning it with faint praise, but it's true. Point one- you know if you're drinking this stuff it's not really for the taste. Point two - once you put it into a cocktail, the odd combination of flavors is very, very appealing. We tried the Red Devil (Agwa and Cranberry on the rocks), threw it in a margarita (swap it out for the Triple Sec), and the Bolivian Bomb (drop a shot into a glass of cola), and after every single one we said "Wow, that's actually pretty good." We had dreams of inventing a drink of our own (we were going to call it the Agwa-holic) but all the things we thought of that didn't taste bad were already listed on their drinks page.
Of course, according to the site, the "real" way to drink Agwa is with the Bolivian Kiss Ritual. Kind of sounds like it was invented by a marketing department somewhere, but hey - at least you get to make out with somebody. To do it, get "a saucer, a shot glass of AGWA de Bolivia & 2 wedges of fresh lime." Oh, and don't forget about finding another set of lips for the kissing part.
The Effects: W-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-red!
We didn't even drink that much. We swear. Just a few drinks. But it didn't put us in our usual state of drunk and slow. It make us jittery. Twitchy, even. We had a rush like we were just coming off a roller coaster, and it was definitely a unique kind of buzz. We liked it. We weren't sure about the claims on the bottle about the properties of the various herbs when we started. But when we stayed up way past our bed time playing online solitaire and twitching madly, we were converted.
The Verdict: Jagermeister or Bust?
We'll have to spend a few more nights getting ourselves twisted up on the stuff, to truly compare it to Jager. It offers a crazy buzz, a funky flavor, and a good marketing campaign. In our opinion it's an interesting and unique liqueur, but it doesn't have what it takes to become the true classic Jagermeister is. To be fair, we tested Agwa 32, so the high-test Agwa 40 might kick it up enough notches to put you over the edge. We'll be over here cradling this bottle with the deer on it.
The Site: AgwaBuzz.com
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Posted by Jake Jamieson at February 8, 2006 10:16 PM