Any country that uses a drink competition to name its Trago Nacional, or "national swig." because "Nicaragua needs a new identity that doesn't have anything to do with revolution." deserves my respect and attention. Hell, any country that has a national drink is to be be given its proper due! I read about this bit of national enlightenment/envy in this column by the Washington Post's spirits writer Jason Wilson. He cynically mused that the drink actually has more to do with "a familiar sense of cultural envy: Cuba had its mojito. Mexico had the margarita. Why didn't Nicaragua have its own cocktail?" Why indeed? Being that we are experiencing a bout of early fall weather that wouldn't be out of place in a tropical country, it seemed the perfect moment to feel brotherhood with this perennially dysfunctional Central American nation.
As I've mentioned many times before, the national drink of my despotically ruled 50'x100' plot of Portlandia is the negroni. But like all leaders, I want to understand the broader world, so with that in mind I went to the local mercato and purchased the necessary guava juice, went home to my palatial presidential estate, and shook and strained out this deliciously refreshing bit of Latin American culture (as much as something that was invented out of the ether just 3 years ago can be of cultural significance). It did have a perfect bit of sweet tartness, and the not-too-fruity guava juice was the perfect match with the rum. It would definitely not be out of place at a tiki party. All I can say is "Viva la Revolucion!!", because this is one drink any nation should would proud to call its own!
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El Macua Cocktail
Recipe and the following summary from Jason Wilson: Named after a tropical bird native to Central America, this was declared the "national drink of Nicaragua" in late 2006, after a countrywide competition that took place during the heat of that year's ugly presidential campaign. El Macua is light, tart and only a bit sweet: the perfect drink for a warm afternoon. Goya's guava juice is good to use, though guava nectar by Jumex is acceptable (the drink will be yellow instead of pink). Though white rum works best, an aged rum such as Flor de Caña's 7-year is also nice.
2 ounces rum
2 ounces guava juice (see headnote)
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup (see NOTE)
Orange slice, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the rum, guava juice, lemon juice and simple syrup; shake well for at least 30 seconds, then strain into an ice-filled highball or Collins glass.
Garnish with the orange slice.
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one year ago today @ E.D.T.: Anthony Bourdain's hair, the early years!