A new spirit of tequila type distilled from cocoa fruits

Solbeso is made from distilled cocoa fruit, and it may be a new category of spirits in modern cocktail taxonomy, but it has a long history. Long before we became addicted to the alluring wonder of chocolate, the ancient cultures that cultivated cocoa distilled the pulpy fruit of cocoa into a white alcohol — to be consumed at celebrations. Chocolate culture caught fire in modern times, so it’s interesting to see this revival of white spirit.

During the harvesting process, the pulpy fresh fruit, similar in texture to a peach, is discarded and usually left to rot.

Sometimes the pickers nibble on the fruit while harvesting the cocoa beans, but it is impossible to really use all the fruit that a single harvest will produce. The Solbeso team have spent over a decade researching the most aromatic fruit (there are actually 12 different varieties of cocoa) to use in distillation. The result is an expression of white spirit that leans towards citrus and bright with hints of creamy sorbet. Some might liken the taste profile to premium tequila, but it also works well with brown alcohol cocktails, a workaholic spirit for sure.

Currently, the Solbeso team is working with farmers in Peru and Ecuador, farmers who are likely excited about this new development — making twice as much profit for the same resource. The cocoa fruit, like a ripe peach, is highly perishable; in most cases, it takes less than six hours for the quality to start to decline. Often, on-site distillation is necessary.

It’s hard not to love a mind that uses a previously discarded resource and improves the bottom line for cocoa farmers. The Solbeso team invites you to try it in the following cocktails:


2 parts Solbeso

2 ¾ parts of iced tea

¾ parts of simple syrup

Build in high-ball glass on cool ice; Stir, garnish with a slice of lemon.


2 parts Solbeso

½ part lemon juice

½ dose of honey syrup

Combine the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake, strain into a chilled cocktail glass; Garnish with a zest of lemon zest.


2 parts Solbeso

1 part lemon juice

¾ part of simple syrup

2-3 slices of jalapeño

Toss the jalapeño with fresh lemon juice; Add the Solbeso, simple syrup and shake with ice; Shake, strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes; Garnish with a slice of jalapeño.


2 parts Solbeso

1 part of sweet vermouth

2 dashes of bitter orange

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice; Stir 15 seconds, strain into a chilled cocktail glass; Garnish with a cherry zest or lemon zest.

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