Mark Wilson, CEO of Babco Europe which creates the liqueur, said: “We are honoured that President Morales has requested that we supply Cocablue as the official drink of the Presidential Palace in Bolivia.”
He added that: “At the 2012 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, President Morales, a former coca leaf farmer, acknowledged that the commercialisation of coca leaf products including our alcohol brand Agwa de Bolivia brought benefits for Bolivia. Both Agwa de Bolivia and Cocablue, which both contain the de-cocainised coca leaf, are exported to 42 countries around the world.”
Harvested once a year, at an altitude of 2,000 metres above sea level in the Andes Mountains, the coca leaves are said to be hand selected in the freshest state possible before being transported in 200-kilo bales by armed guard to Amsterdam. Upon arrival in Amsterdam the coca leaves are immediately macerated and de-cocainised before distillation.
Every bottle of Cocablue (55.5% abv/111° proof) liqueur contains 69 grams of coca leaf extract and is distilled five times. One vintage is released every year and each bottle is recorded, signed and numbered. The Mayan blue colour is said to be a natural by-product of an artisanal handcrafting technique.