Since many of us may choose to celebrate Cinco de Mayo cocktails at home this year, why not find a new way to spice up your margarita?! Let me introduce you to something new and exciting Cocalero Clásico! I was intrigued by the color first, then, by the blend of 17 botanicals.
What is Cocalero?
Cocalero Clásico is a premium botanical spirit inspired by South American flavors and culture (cocaleros are the coca leaf growers of Peru and Bolivia). Distilled in Dublin, Ireland of all places, the proprietary recipe of 17 natural botanicals is apparently very popular in Asia and catching on here. Juniper, Ginger, Guarana, and Green Tea are among Cocalero Clásico’s unique blend of botanicals.
The brand name pays homage to cocaleros, the traditional coca leaf farmers in the Andes Mountains who have been cultivating the crop for its medicinal properties for centuries. They are an essential part of the rich heritage and history of the area, where the coca leaf is an intrinsic part of the lifestyle—used as a natural remedy for altitude sickness, to combat hunger, and to promote energy and stamina.
“When I was traveling in South America, visiting Bolivia and surrounding countries, I was deeply influenced by how prevalent the coca leaf was in the local culture,” commented Ralph. “Further research led me to many historic references of its use in tonics and beverages in Europe and America, and ultimately inspired me to create Cocalero, our own celebration of the coca leaf. ~John Ralph, CEO of Intrepid Spirits
Sip Cocalero in cold shots, on the rocks, or with simple mixers. It is sweet, but not syrupy, the mix of botanicals lends a herbaceous note that tempers the sweetness. That vibrant green color foreshadows its taste— subtle notes of anise and mint with subdued herbal elements. It’s complex and enjoyable in an unexpected way. For me, Cocalero is best enjoyed with fresh lemon or lime juice along with a few drops of bitters to neutralize the residual sweetness. That being said, it is perfect for a unique margarita (recipe below)!
CocaRita Margarita for Cinco de Mayo
- 1.5 ounce Cocalero
- 1.5 ounce premium Tequila
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- simple syrup to taste
Add a scoop of ice to a bar glass, add all the ingredients and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass.
More Cinco de Mayo Cocktails
I have a thing for green drinks but if the CocaRita is too green for your taste, a refreshing frozen margarita made with fresh mango and pineapple might suit you. Or if you like a cocktail with a kick, add some spice to your celebration with the smoky, citrus flavors of the Chupacabra.
Not for the faint of heart, the Chupacabra is a tequila and mezcal cocktail with bright citrus notes and a bittersweet kick.