Saturday, June 19, 2010

Maté Y Caña--An Herb Tea Cocktail and a Simple Saturday Sipper

I found a fun used cookbook a few months back, "A Matter of Taste: The Definitive Seasoning Cookbook" by Sylvia Windle Humphrey. Published in 1965, in addition to recipes, the book gives the history and use of different herbs, spices and seasonings, making it a charming and useful little reference book to have. While thumbing through it the other day I found a drink recipe that sounded interesting and perfect for this week's Simple Saturday Sipper--the Maté Y Caña a drink from a restaurant called the La Fonda del Sol in New York.

The drink uses maté, a South American infused drink made from yerba maté, a small shrub from the holly family. It is supposed to have health benefits such as boosting immunity, cleansing and detoxify the blood, combating fatigue, stimulating the mind, controlling appetite, reducing stress, and eliminating insomnia. Since I had some maté and rum and coincidentally one of my neighbors just gave me some homemade pineapple liqueur that her cousin made, I was all set to make it.

The book says, "This innocent-seeming drink is extremely intoxicating. The herb tea is a very strong stimulant as well as a smooth blender."

Maté Y Caña from La Fonda del Sol, NYC
"A Matter of Taste" by Sylvia Windle Humphrey
(quantities make 1 drink)

4 ounces tea made from toasted Brazilian maté
1 1/2 ounces white rum
1/2 ounce pineapple liqueur
wedge or juice of lime

Combine all ingredients with ice in a tall glass. Stir well.

Notes/Results: Refreshing and good--I liked the combination of the tea, rum and pineapple liqueur--even better with the squeeze of lime. It is not too sweet, works well as a warm weather drink, and would be easy to make up in a pitcher for a gathering. I really enjoyed the homemade pineapple liqueur (I am lucky my neighbor doesn't drink and passed it on to me) ;-) and I plan on making some of my own soon as there seems to be a lot of easy recipes on line. This was a fun and unique cocktail that I will make again.

(BTW--I looked up the restaurant La Fonda del Sol, to see if it was still there and found out that the original was a huge showplace and theme restaurant that was open from 1960 to the early 1970s. The restaurant was recently revived and re-opened in 2009. Sadly the Maté Y Caña does not seem to have made the new menu!)

Happy Saturday!


  1. what a great drink, too bad the revived restaurant doesn't serve it, this would be perfect for summer.

  2. Whoa! I never realized you could MAKE your own liqueur. I need to look into this.

    The mate sounds delicious! The perfect drink to consume at a bbq.

  3. rum and pineapple liqueur...mmmmm!! And I've been wanting some yerba maté ever since reading the Anik See book!! This drink sounds perfect for a steamy day like today, Deb =)

  4. I accidentally grabbed some yerba mate tea the other day (was reaching for something else). I haven't tried it yet, because I had no idea what it was! Now, I have a use for it!

  5. it sounds so wonderfully refreshing! Awesome with homemade pineapple liqueur!

  6. Homemade pineapple liqueur sounds fantastic! I can imagine all kinds of way to use that :0)

    This drink sounds fantastic, Deb! I could definitely use one of these because the kids have been totally driving me to drink ;-)

  7. Beautiful photos and graphics today, Deb. Your sipper looks delicious. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary


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