This doesn't have anything to do with North Minneapolis, except for the people involved. Connie Nompelis, real estate agent and rehabber extraordinaire, has family connections in Honduras and still gets back there from time to time. One of her favorite places in Honduras has an interesting history and an interesting drink to go with it...
In the 1600s, two Spanish ships were sunk off the coast of Honduras. The ships were loaded with black slaves, many of whom survived the shipwreck, and lived among the Native Americans in that region, creating a new people and culture. Though it's more complicated than that--check out this link, click here--one surviving aspect of this blending of black and Native American culture is a drink called "Guifiti."
The way Connie explains it, a bottle is filled with an (apparently) secret concoction of plants, though coconut chips are apparently a small part of the recipe. (I can read the words "artesania cocunut chip" on the label, but I can't actually SEE any of the chips in the bottle) Next, liquor is added. What kind of liquor? According to Connie, it's some really inexpensive stuff...the Honduran equivalent of moonshine, but rum is also used. The stuff in the mixture of plants leaches out into the liquor. You can refill the bottle several times and get more value out of the plants; rum is usually the preferred liquor for refills.
I scored a $4.99 bottle of rum at Mervin's for this purpose. After all, you need CHEAP rum to be authentic.
So, you're probably wondering, what does it taste like?
The easiest way to describe it is...vile. Almost impossible to drink. It tastes like Jagermeister without any sweet flavor, and (if you can believe it!) much more herby than Jagermeister, like the stuff which might be left over at the bottom of the kettle after brewing up a batch of "Jag." I could down the stuff without a problem but, well, regular readers are quite familiar with my legendary strong stomach. (Though "strong stomach" may not be the right word...I actually LIKE the weird stuff I'm eating)
In any case, flavor is not really the point of this drink. The point of Guifiti is, well, it's...
An aphrodisiac. Allegedly.
I had a couple of shots of this stuff with Connie...hard to tell if something is an aphrodisiac when a woman as hot as Connie is around, if ya know what I mean...and then, a few nights later, I had a couple more shots with Jeff and Connie. (Connie, who actually brought the bottle and gave it to me, didn't indulge that time, though there were a few off-color jokes about the possible effects of me and Jeff drinking the stuff together)
The first time I had some of Guifiti, I figured out the vile taste needed to be MODIFIED, somehow. I slugged down my second shot with a big spoonful of sugar. ("Just a spoonful of sugar makes the Guifiti go down, the Guifiti go down...")
Jeff poured his sugar on his hand like you would with salt while doing a tequila shot. (Personally, I think the salt and lime thing is for wimps, and real men drink their tequila straight up) The result was, according to Jeff, not half bad. And, after all, there's plenty of cane sugar in South America.
I tried researching Guifiti and didn't find too much on the internet, except for a very short research paper, the conclusion of which appears to be: some ingredients can be identified, but who KNOWS what's in the stuff? Click here for that research paper.
Oh, also, some authentic Guifiti recipes use MARIJUANA ROOTS. (But reportedly not the ones sold to tourists)
All the same, if I come up hot on a (expletive) test, I'm blaming Connie. Totally. Dude.
Word from Connie is this region of Honduras is putting itself on the tourist map; a cruise ship recently pulled into one of the towns for the very first time. A local hotel is preparing to meet the seagoing gravy train.
I can just see something like this becoming a hot trend. Well, I spotted it from afar, like the surfer dudes who bought a cheap Mexican beer called "Corona" and, well, what do you know? Everybody wanted to drink what the surfer dudes were drinking.