Whether you see it printed on the menu or not, saunter up to any bar in Aruba, ask the bartender for an Aruba Ariba, and guaranteed, you’ll be obliged. What makes the Aruba Ariba so ubiquitous? It’s unique to Aruba. And why? Because every Aruba Ariba is made with coecoei, a liquor made from the sap of a local agave plant. The deep red sap is then mixed with rum and cane sugar. It not only adds a distinctive taste and color when used as an ingredient, coecoei also packs a punch with its 100-proof alcoholic content.
It surely must be a seductive cocktail because plenty of message boards evidence a search for coecoei by travelers once they return home from a trip to Aruba. Sorry. The only place to buy coecoei is Aruba. So there you go: another reason to go to Aruba. (As if you needed another one besides sugary white beaches, blue skies, friendly people, endless activities or a beautiful place to do absolutely nothing while sitting under a palapa.)
Though the recipe varies a bit, the end result is universally described as delicious, refreshing and fruity – very apropos to the tropics. A clear glass mug is recommended as an appropriate vessel in order to show off the rainbow of colors. Make that a tall, clear glass mug to accommodate the liquors, liqueurs and juices. Yes, you need all three to make a proper Aruba Ariba.
Here is the most often published recipe for the Aruba Ariba:
- ½ ounce of vodka
- ½ ounce of 151 proof rum
- 1/8 ounce of coecoei
- 1/8-ounce crème de bananes
- ½ cup of orange juice
- ½ cup of cranberry juice
- ½ cup of pineapple juice
Directions: Pour into a glass. Stir slightly. Splash with grenadine. Top with Grand Marnier. Garnish with a slice of orange.
I’ll have mine while enjoying the sunset from one of those cushy white couches at Pure Lounge over at Divi Phoenix Beach.
You can find other famous Aruba cocktails here at Visit Aruba.