Latin drinks infused with "stimulating" herbs
A reader named Lee saw my piece about herb-infused cocktails, and sent me this curious lesson in South of the Border herbs and drinks. Keeping with today's Cinco de Mayo theme, I thought I'd share it:
For example if you hit the bars in Mexico city or the Baja peninsula, you will see lots of women drinking tequila infused with damiana, usually mixed into a margarita. Originally, the margarita was always made with damiana liqueur.
The other two -- muira puama and catuaba, are usually sold as coarsely shredded wood bark in small glass flasks. You pour your rum into the flask and carry that around, where it slowly soaks up the aromatics in the bark. It's also used to spike drinks at bars or these herbal mixes are boiled up in big pots at roadside stands.
These are highly effective sexual stimulants (both men and women) as well as a relaxing tonic (even without the alcohol) ...
Given the number of Latinos living in Fells Point, for example, it's really surprising to me that these types of drinks have not popped up in local bars. With a name like Bad Decisions - you'd think they'd be on top of this!
I used to live in Texas and my parents used to visit Mexico all the time w/ me. They visited the Baja peninsula just last year and brought back a bottle of Damiana Tequila.
On another trip to the Caribbean Islands, my dad brought be back one of those glass flasks filled with herbal bark. Yes it really does "do the trick."
Oh, something else they will do is roast and grind the stuff up with coffee. That will give you a buzz worth remembering. Funny you never hear about that stuff here, but you can get it at the vitamin stores in pill form, or sometimes as an extract. (It's worth looking into.)
Maybe some Bodegas stock it behind the counter, but I've never heard of it at bars. Only places like the Vitamin shop carry it. They should totally use this for bar drinks in B-more.
(Baltimore Sun archive photo of a margarita)