There’s a new liquor called Solbeso – it’s sort of like a weird cousin of tequila – and we are definitely intrigued. The chocolate lover in us perked up first when we heard that Solbeso is distilled from cacao fruit, but then we learned that it doesn’t taste anything like chocolate. How can something be derived from cacao and not have a hint of chocolate in it? Because chocolate comes from the bean portion of the plant and Solbeso comes from the fruit that surrounds the bean in the cacao pod. Cool, right?

Cacao fruit is interesting because once that cacao pod is opened, the clock starts ticking on its freshness; it’s super perishable and can start to go bad after about 6-8 hours. Maybe that is part of the reason why distillers have never really took a liking to this fruit before now, but the folks at Solbeso saw a great opportunity in this situation. They work directly with cacao farmers in Ecuador and Peru so that the cacao fruit can be processed as soon as its harvested. These farmers juice the fruit, set it out in the sun to dry, and then ship it to Kentucky so Solbeso can put the finishing touches on their the alcoholic creation. Farmers are also big fans of this agreement because they usually just throw the fruit portion of the plant away to rot; now they get to see dollar signs and opportunity when they look at that fruit.

In a recent Forbes article, the author notes that though Solbeso is a new spirit category in today’s world, it was actually a drink consumed during celebrations way, way back in ancient times. This white spirit is citrusy and bright and the author notes that some might compare the taste to a premium tequila. However, as an added bonus, it also seems to be a good replacement in brown spirit cocktails as well, making it quite the multi-tasking addition to your home bar.

Solbeso offers a few recommended cocktails, but we like this one called “Birds & the Bees” because it’s easy to make, refreshing, and heck, it has a charming name:

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add 2 parts Solbeso, 1/2 part lemon juice, and 1/2 part honey syrup. Shake, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon peel twist.

Anyone tried Solbeso yet? What did you think?