Fire water burn... the best cocktails made with aguardiente

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Aguardiente cocktails

Fire water burn!!!

We are on the hunt for the best cocktails with aguardiente… But first we take a deeper look into this liqueur called aguardiente. It comes in different types and brands...

Aguardiente is made of two words: “agua” meaning water and “ardiente” meaning burning. That’s why some people talk of it as burning water or firewater. Basically aguardiente is a generic term for alcoholic beverages that contain between 30% and 60% alcohol by volume.

Aguardiente is made from the fermentation and distillation of sugared musts and/or vegetable macerations. There are aguardientes based on fruits such as bananas, grapes or oranges, based on grain such as millet, rice or barley or based on tuber such as manioc, beet or potato. The so-called true or real aguardientes are made from sugarcane or other sweet canes.

Aguardiente can be quite different depending on the country where it is produced


Here aguardiente is an anise-flavoured liqueur based on sugar cane. The different types of flavor are the result of adding different amounts of aniseed. This liqueur is quite similar to pastis, sambuca or anisette. Aguardiente is one of the most popular drinks in Columbia. Although it is not that often used in cocktails as it usually is drunk neat, we found some very nice cocktails with aguardiente. We’ll look into them at the end of this article.

Cost Rica

In Costa Rica aguardiente is also called guaro. It has a neutral flavor and about 30% alcohol.


In Brazil pinga or cachaça is based on sugar cane. White or unaged cachaça is used to prepare the delicious caipirinhas. Dark or aged cachaça is drunk neat. Some of the best cocktails made with cachaça are the caipirinha, the brazilian batida and the lemon beat cocktail. I suggest you once give them a try...


Aguardiente is based on sugar cane but it is left unflavoured. It is mostly consumed straight as shots or used in the hot canelazo cocktail, a combination of aguardiente, water, cinnamon and fruit juice.


In Chili aguardiente is based on grapes with an alcohol content of 45% or higher. It then is flavoured with murtilla, cherries, saffron and lemon peel. Other ingrediens such as mint walnuts and other herbs are used to flavour it.

Also in Portugal, Spain and Thaiti different types of aguardiente is produced.

Cocktails with agurandiente

We selected some of the best cocktail recipes made with aguardiente. Most people drink it still neat but more and more bars have developed their own aguardiente cocktails…

Aguardiente sour

Probably the most popular cocktail based on aguardiente.  Delicious and easy to make All you need is aguardiente, orange juice, lime juice, egg white and sugar. You can find the complete recipe here.



My absolute favourite. This aguardiente cocktail is made with aguardiente, lime juice, honey and soda. Click here for the canchànchara recipe.



Refajo, also known as the Colombian pitcher cocktail, is basically a mix of beer, soda and aguardiente.  The perfect cocktail for when you have bbq plans.


Daisy Maria

A mix of aguardiente, lemon juice and lemon soda. Click here for the daisy maria recipe .



Another splendid idea is the aguardiente mojito. Just replace the rum with aguardiente. It’s as easy as that…

You’ll probably know other cool cocktail recipes with aguardiente. Don’t hesitate to let us know. We’ll be happy to publish them on our site.


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