Cocalero, a popular spirit distilled at an extremely high altitude of over 12,000 feet, recently launched Cocalero Negro in Japan. Likely to be another hit, it’s a refreshing sweet and spicy liquor that will have customers returning to the bar for a refill.

A unique botanical medium-strength spirit inspired by South American flavors and culture, Cocalero is the number one imported liquor by value in Japan and one of the world’s most successful spirit brands to have been launched in the past 20 years.

John Ralph, founder and CEO of Intrepid Spirits, the company committed to distributing Cocalero around the globe, is hoping to further spread the brand’s influence in this country with its latest offering, the surprisingly easy-to-drink Cocalero Negro.

Healthy Pep of the Coca Leaf

A luscious and spicy spirit, it features the aji panca chili which turns from a vivid red to a dark red burgundy color when ripe. This blends in well with the spicy locoto pepper and other exotic ingredients including guarana, lavender and of course the coca leaf.

The coca leaf, though more commonly associated with the street drug, cocaine, has many health benefits such as providing a long-lasting energy boost, reduction of appetite, and as a remedy for altitude sickness.

Don’t worry, there is certainly nothing illegal about this drink. Manufacturing Cocalero requires a special “steam distillation” process, the same that is used to extract oils from plants, in order to remove the narcotics from the coca leaf. Harvesting usually takes around 18 months.

Bolivian president Evo Morales, himself a former coca farmer, last year signed a bill nearly doubling the area that can be legally planted with crops in his country.

With a 29% alcohol volume, Cocalero Negro is popular for both males and females. It can be drunk straight or as part of a cocktail. Highly recommended is the Spice Bomb, mixing Cocalero Negro with ginger beer. The Coca Libre, a drink topped with cola and a slice of lemon is also worth trying.

Product Name: Cocalero Negro
Alcohol Percentage: 29 percent
Price: 70ml bottle ¥5,000 (not including tax)
Launch date: November 1, 2019