GSN Review: Cocalero Negro

Cocalero Negro is the newest addition to the Cocalero family, a portfolio featuring South American-inspired botanical spirits. Since its international release in 2013, the Cocalero brand has experienced surging popularity as top bartenders and mixologists look for more low-ABV options and interest in botanical spirits continues to rise. While Cocalero Negro is not easily categorized, it spans many current popular trends, including low ABV spirits, botanical liquors, spiced liquors, non-gin juniper-influenced spirits, and playfully colorful cocktail components. Cocalero Negro is infused with a proprietary recipe of natural botanicals and herbs.
“During my travels in South America, visiting Bolivia and surrounding countries, I was taken by the rich culinary traditions there, often involving the Aji Panca,” comments John Ralph, CEO of Intrepid Spirits. “A deeper dive led me to historic references of the chili’s use by the Inca Empire in ancient ceremonies and rituals. I am delighted by the flexibility of the flavor profile—it pairs perfectly with everything from ginger beer to soda water, from margaritas to hot chocolate.”
Cocalero Negro, in deference to its South American roots, is inspired by a variety of Andean herbs and spices, including the Aji Panca. These peppers are a deep red when picked, showing a rich smoky tang and mild spice. When dried in the Andean sun they turn black and gain a further level of complexity, accentuating their depth of flavor. Aji Panca is a cornerstone of many traditional South American dishes.

GSN’s Remarks: While were not entirely impressed with the flavor of the standard Cocalero, with this new expression, they hit it out of the park. Adding the warm and effusive heat of the chiles brings everything into balance. The herbality, the grassiness, the sweetness of the liqueur, and the unique spiciness of the Aji Panca all work together to create a wonderful whole. We could drink several shots of these, but also this is absolutely a perfect ingredient for cocktails that would normally call for a ginger liqueur, or tiki-styled libations where you’re looking for a little something extra. Overall, we highly recommend this new product for your bar. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Cocalero

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