Coca leaves & Rum
This drink is very popular in the higher Andes. It is a mix of rum and coca leaves. It quickly warms you up on a cold day.
Fill a one-liter bottle of rum with 60 grams of dry leaves (coca tea powder or coca tea bags) or 60 grams of fresh leaves. Keep the bottle in a dark place for at least 3-4 weeks – the longer the better. The alcohol will absorb the alkaloids, flavor, and aroma of the coca leaves, resulting in a fragrant, bright green drink.
Even strong proponents of whiskey or brandy praise the aroma and rich flavor of this beverage. Its effect is every bit as pleasant as the taste. After a few sips you feel simultaneously relaxed and energized, and you feel like talking. I have had many nice conversations with people while enjoying this drink, and many hours have flown by in a sociable warmth. A remarkable drink indeed!
Another amazing property of this beverage is that it relieves stress-related pain such as headaches and lower back, shoulder, and neck pain. Truly, this is a medicine you can enjoy!
If you don’t like the taste of rum, vodka or Dutch Genever gin can be used. I prefer to mix coca leaves with vodka. Whether or not the producers are happy with this free advertisement, to me it gives the best results in taste, while the clear bottle looks exquisite when filled with coca leaves.
Fresh leaves are easier to put into the bottle than dry ones, and they give a slightly different but equally enjoyable taste. Don’t put more than 60 grams of fresh leaves into a bottle – otherwise the natural juice in the leaves will lower the overall alcohol content, exposing the leaves to rot. With dry leaves, however, there is no limit. When the bottle gets empty, it can be refilled and left to steep for a second time. That’s two times the fun with one batch of leaves!