Bogotá has a “mercado de aromáticas” or aromatic herb market that sells almost exclusively medicinal plants. Two nights a week, it stays open all night, as the vendors bring in the cut plants in the chill of the night to prevent wilting. You can smell the market from two blocks before you see it: the pungent grassiness of rue, the sweetness of chamomile, the resinous spice of rosemary. It is one of the most magical places in Bogotá.
Have you heard of Ada Coleman? Her patrons called her “Coley”. In 1903, she became the first female head bartender at the American Bar at the Savoy. Her skill mixing drinks and her strong personality first won the bar the renown it still enjoys today. When she retired, no less than 5 newspapers wrote articles about her impact on the London bar scene.
I was reading up on “Coley” when I came across a bio of her on a Mexican cocktail site that begins “Quizá sea extraño escuchar que una mujer haya desarrollado un papel fundamental en la historia de la coctelería” … translation: “Maybe it seems strange to hear that a woman has played a fundamental role in the history of cocktails”.
[Artículo en español] In the past 10 years, measurements taken by the Finnish & Swedish governments and rum enthusiasts have shown that many rums have a lot of sugar. A lot. Since sugar can’t make it through distillation, this means that producers add sugar to the rum after distilling. The levels of added sugar in rum … Continue reading Added Sugar in Rum
A few months after I arrived in Bogotá, I stumbled on an article in Business Insider about “the oldest cocktail in the world”, a Mojito ancestor called El Draque.
Mojitos are the selfies of the cocktail world – they’re everywhere, they’re alluring yet annoying, and they’re often not as good as you hope.
So I was about to turn the page when I noticed the recipe called for chuchuhuasi, a tree bark with medicinal properties. Just what properties, you ask? The article goes with the relatively tame “pain relief to boosting libido,” but other sites recommend it as a cure for: cancer, anemia, gout, diarrhea, flu, bronchitis, arthritis, rheumatism, spasms, epilepsy, irregular menstrual cycles, and stomach pain. Oh, AND it “rips panties,” “breaks cots” and “raises corpses”, which is to say it’s a potent aphrodisiac, at least according to the label of this Bolivian chuchuhuasi liquor.
I had to find this bark.
I had the pleasure of hosting Trash Tiki in our bar at Segundo this past week and thought it was as good a chance as any to crack open the proverbial champagne for this BBB (Bogotá Bartending Blog). I’d like to share the “Gulupa” cocktail recipe from the pop-up but first a bit about the … Continue reading Trash Tiki’s Gulupa Cocktail
So nutmeg is a seed and mace is the aril, or extra seed covering, that surrounds the nutmeg when it is still inside the fruit. It has a flavor similar to nutmeg, but more delicate and vegetal. In Bogotá, you can find mace at Granel, one of my favorite shops for spices and other bulk ingredients. … Continue reading Mace Syrup
A recipe by Trash Tiki that uses the seedy pulp left after straining out the passionfruit juice to make a flavorful syrup.