Mistela Tasting at Colgado Restaurant, Cuenca, Ecuador
What is a Mistela? It depends where you look online* for the definition. We had heard that it was a cocktail made with wine. I’ve found a few websites that agree it’s a blend of unfermented grape juice and distilled alcohol but others do not mention wine being used. There are different wine grapes that are used including syrah, moscatel, grenache, and mollar. We tried it while we were in Ecuador but people have found it in Spain as well. Although we weren’t positive of the alcohol used in our cocktails we do know the fruits that were added.
Mistela kiwi menta
Mistela tuna mandarina
Mistela frutos rojos
The tasting was divided into two sets. Teresa and Chris chose the first set and Neil and I picked the second set. The first drink was Mistela kiwi mint and it did kind of taste like mint. Neil enjoyed eating the kiwi at the end of the drink. The next, Mistela uvilla-guarnipoleo, looked like it had yellow grapes floating in it. I don’t remember seeing the fruit, guarnipoleo, but I noticed a nutty aftertaste in this one. Neil and Teresa said it tasted like DayQuil. We finished out this set with Mistela tuna mandarina. When translated this mistela means prickly-mandarin. As expected, it did have an orange flavor but I still noticed that same nutty aftertaste. Maybe that was a characteristic of the alcohol used?
The second set began with Mistela frutos rojos, which, you may know, means red fruits. It had raspberries floating in it and tasted very berry. The Mistela pasas-babaco was made from raisins and babaco. It tasted sweet and delicious and we all finished it before we really figured out the flavors. A reference online says that babaco has flavors of strawberry, papaya, kiwi and pineapple, no wonder it was so tasty! The final mistela was a special treat from our server and was Mistela chocolate (pronounced cho-co-latte, not chalk-let), which reminded us of chocolate milk or a kahlua drink. It was sweet and a nice drink for dessert. There may have been cinnamon on the bottom of the glass too.
The mistelas were more of an aperitif than an actual drink but we all enjoyed the chance to try them. And although we don’t really know what we were drinking, they were all pretty tasty. ?
* Do you want to read more about Mistelas? check out these links