What's All the Buzz on Agwa?

Last Friday, my friend Greg got an e-mail from a buddy in L.A. who was all excited about a new liquor he was planning to try that weekend that's made with cocaine -- sort of. Greg and his girlfriend got online to research this European concoction that's been compared to absinthe, and found a feature about it in our sibling paper, Phoenix New Times. They learned that this trendy liquor from Amsterdam, called Agwa de Bolivia, is made from coca leaves and recently made its way to the States. It doesn't actually contain cocaine, but people were calling it a legal way to get high.

Greg got to a line in the story about the liquor being for old people wanting to relive their drug days without doing drugs, and stopped reading. Instead, he went straight to the Agwa web site to see how he could order a case. Deciding it might be better to try the liquor before he shelled out a lot of cash, he looked up the Colorado distributor, Summit Distributing Co. in Aurora, and asked what stores carried it.

Summit couldn’t tell him precisely who had bought Agwa, but the guy on the line rattled off a few of Summit's biggest customers. Greg only had to call a couple of liquor stores before he found one with Agwa – Keg Liquors in the University Hills Shopping Center. The $33 bottle was easy to spot, right next to the absinthe and Jagermeister.

On Saturday, I tried the thick green liquor – which looks like Midori – mixed with ginger ale as my first drink at a barbecue. It was tasty, and went down quick. I had been hungover and tired, but I got a quick buzz – not unlike what I would feel after a Red Bull.

Greg, who thought Agwa tasted like a melted green freeze pop, tried it in three drinks -- mixed with ginger ale, with tonic and lime, and with tonic, cranberry and lime. The tonic and lime was the best, he said, “cool and refreshing.”

Though he also said Agwa was “nothing like the real thing," he got a good, energetic buzz off it and wants to try the liquor again this weekend -- and try more if it. If nothing else, he thinks Agwa could be a good choice for a second night of drinking, since it made everybody who claimed they didn't feel like drinking (because over over-drinking the night before) suddenly feel better after a sip or two.

According, a list of bars that carry the liquor is coming soon. -- Jessica Centers