Agwa: a new green friend |

Agwa: a new green friend

Gregory Crofton

It’s a powerful jolt of energy that will get you drunk and may enhance your sexual stamina. Is it selling? You bet.

Agwa, a 60-proof herbal liquor “crafted and exacted in Amsterdam,” according to the label, is a thick, clear, green concoction.

“One of the kids told me it has cocaine leaves in it or Bolivian botanicals in it,” said Diane Burns, a clerk at Al Tahoe Liquor, a store at 3097 U.S. Highway 50. “I guess it keeps them wide awake and horny … I was told it tastes wretched.”

The bottle says the drink contains: Amazon Guarana, which is a root responsible for Agwa’s eye-opening energy, Bolivian botanicals (coca leaves), Chinese ginseng and other exotic herbs, spices and botanicals.

Amazon Guarana, according to a press release, is also rumored to be “used by Brazilians to improve the stamina of their love life.”

I had a shot of it the other night. At first glance, it looks like something a bartender might mix up on St. Patrick’s Day. And it smells pretty bad, like some old-fashioned cough remedy.

But it tastes better than it smells. “It’s like green Jagermeister,” were the first words out of my mouth. Its aftertaste was mellow or maybe even non-existent. So much so, that minutes after I took the shot, I drank the last bit of Agwa left in my glass.

At first I felt nothing other than the buzz I get every day from life. An hour later I noticed Agwa in my system. I’d compare the feeling to taking a Vivarin while drinking a cup of coffee. Music sounds a little better, and enthusiasm for life is nudged up a bit.

The drink was created by Babco, a spirits company outside Dublin. Clubgoers in Northern Ireland were the first to try it in January 2000. Now it’s made it to our town. A bottle of Agwa costs about $22, a few dollars more than Jagermeister.

It’s been available at South Lake Tahoe for about two months. Most liquor stores and bars in the city carry it, but it seems bars and liquor stores at Stateline don’t.

They probably don’t have it because the distributors don’t. I called two major liquor distributors in Nevada, and neither stocked it.

“People have been coming in looking for it … last one or two months,” said Mike Connors, night supervisor at Dart Discount Liquor, a business at Stateline. “I’m not sure I think we’ve been trying to get it. I’ve tried it. It was honeyish. It’s 60 proof, Jager is 70 proof.”

The label says it’s sold by Worldwide Distributing in San Francisco. I could not find the company on the Internet or in telephone listings. Agwa’s Web site,, is also a mystery. A couple of weeks of go I logged on no problem. But recently I can’t access it. Maybe their server is clogged with visitors.

People have also begun to ask for it at bars in town. Debbie LoCicero, an employee at Steamers’ Bar & Grill, said mostly people who are in their mid-20s ask for the drink.

“It depends if people know about it, then they’ll ask if we have it,” she said. “It’s right up there with Red Bull drinks, people want to be up – hang with the big boys and stay up.”

Michael Lovati, owner of Al Tahoe Liquor, said his store has been selling about 12 bottles each week. “It’s anything new you sell a ton of it, and then it goes down afterwards,” he said.

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