When it comes to national cocktails, some countries are clearly more recognizable than the rest. Canada has the Caesar, Cuba the Mojito and Spain the Sangria. But what do you do when you’re a country without a cocktail to call your own?
That was the dilemma facing Nicaragua, who despite being a prolific rum producer, didn’t have a specific cocktail to point to that they could distinctly say was Nicaraguan. To remedy that fact, in 2006, Flor de Caña sponsored a national competition and asked for entries from around the country that best represented the Nicaraguan spirit. With dozens of submissions the final judging panel came down to 20 different concoctions that were studiously sampled by an elite judging panel.
Judges were looking for a variety of things but most important was to find a drink that would be like no other, something authentic that would immediately say Nicaragua the minute you took a sip. Of course the appearance would also be vital as often it is the look that attracts people before the taste. Some of these drinks were called the Nica rumba, the eruption pinolera, the nicarao, the fantasia del lago, the monbacho en las rochas and the experanza.
After much tasting, a little discussion on what they were looking for and a lot of note taking the judges came up with a national winner, a rum-and-guava-juice-based cocktail drink called the “el macua”, by pediatrician Dr. Edmundo Miranda Saenz. The name originates from the “el macua”, a Central American bird which has a long tradition in folklore of Central and Northwestern South American countries, and magical or mystical properties are attributed either to its song or its nest.
The Macua was chosen not only for its combination of flavours, but also the simplicity, making it a cocktail that would be able to be recreated the world over. The original recipe calls for just four ingredients: Rum, guava juice, lemon juice and simple syrup. It’s simple, delicious and a thirst quenching. For something that adds a little extra, I’d suggest the official Flor de Caña twist on the Macua:
Flor de Caña Macua
- 1.5 oz Flor de Caña (white or 7 year)
- 1 oz guava juice
- 1 oz orange juice
- 0.5 oz lemon juice
- 0.3 oz simple syrup
Method: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice mix in the rum, guava juice, orange juice, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake well and pour into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of orange.