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.
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
I just like to say gulupa. Gulupa upa upitiii dooo … I love agar agar for two reasons: it stays set at room temperature, unlike gelatin, and it’s veggie! But it’s a little finicky. A few notes: – With acidic ingredients like passionfruit juice, more agar is required to set the gel, so this recipe … Continue reading Gulupa Gummies
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.