A bottle of Agwa, a Dutch energy liqueur flavoured with guarana, ginseng, green tea and the Bolivian coca leaf.
First, I have to say that I was very impressed by Agwa’s advertising. When I first saw the liquor on the shelves of liquor stores that I frequent, it immediately caught my attention. There is already an alcohol liqueur in the Netherlands called agwa, which is flavoured with wormwood. I don’t know who came up with the word agwa, whether it was the wormwood-flavoured drink or the coca leaf-flavoured drink, but I can tell you that whoever came up with it did an amazing job of advertising that particular product. While I thought the two drinks had a great name, with great packaging, it is the advertising that won me over. And I had to learn more about this drink, which has great packaging! And a great name. Agwa.
Agwa’s website is in five languages; French, English, German, Dutch, (which, by the way, is called Nederlands in Dutch!) and Spanish. They also have a place on their website where you can download a folder in which you can print out the front and back of their bottle for some great party props! A really smart marketing idea. After looking over their website, I was more impressed.
The coca leaf is listed as the fourth ingredient, out of five. I can’t help but be intrigued by that. I mean, compared to Gingseng, green tea, guarana, and alcohol, the coca leaf is the inexpensive cousin in the family. It’s the one ingredient of the Five Dragon that pulls up the rear in terms of cost. This is an energy drink that has damn compelling packaging, and a nice name to boot. It has an interesting mix of herbs and spices in keeping with the ancient tradition of herbal medicine, and I just have to see what it was all about.
On the back of the bottle, which is a paper pouch of the sort that I myself have written on, with pencil no less, in the years before the 21st century, Agwa says:
Agwa De Bolivia contains the coca leaf, one of the most important alchemical herbs in the history of mankind, and is still used today in numerous healing processes because of its highest level of natural energy. So here you have it: an alchemical herb in a drink called Agwa. And that drink tastes pretty good!
So I’m off to try this energy drink! I picked up a bottle of Agwa on the way to a party, because the bottle had advertised to me, “Good for Parties!” You could fill with your favourite spirit, it said. So it’s got my vote!
At a party, I was talking to someone who suggested that I try it with Chianti. I went out and bought a bottle of Chianti, and the Chianti was very good, but I lost interest in the Agwa. I didn’t like the taste so much with the wine. It didn’t mix well with the Agwa.
The taste is not overwhelming, but it is definitely different from what you may drink habitually. I would have to say that it is best taken neat (or straight) out of the bottle. It tastes fine, and is not very sweet. The coca leaf is definitely part of the taste. I can taste it.
After a shot or two of Agwa, I did feel the energy it advertised. I was more aware of my own energy and of my own feeling. But I was not able to ‘get going’ like I might with an energy drink that was laced with sugar and caffeine. I don’t know if that is the nature or the design of the drink, but hey, this is a herb, and this is an energy drink. I like it! It’s just different than what I am used to.
Of the several energy drinks that I have reviewed, Agwa is one that I would order again. The taste is not bad at all, and it does have an energy to it. Not much of an energy burst, but a nice bit of energy. It is an enjoyable drink to have after a meal, or when relaxing after work. I would recommend that you try it, but be prepared for the taste. It is not what you may expect from an alcohol-based liqueur.
Agwa tastes better with Chianti, but who can blame it for wanting to be taken alone? I’m glad that there are a couple of people out there who have done a really good job of exposing people to the drink, and I hope they continue to do so. Maybe one day I’ll take Agwa with guarana, gingseng, green tea, and vodka and call it Agwa De China, how about that? Oh yeah, Agwa De China! That would be a tasty drink!