Emoliente Piteado

Luis Aquije | Lima, Peru

Cocktail illo

A hot herbal brew derived from 19th-century tisanes, the emoliente became “piteado” when Lima’s street vendors spiked the warming drink with aguardiente. Though the emoliente base varies, the main ingredients are toasted barley, fruit and fresh herbs. At Lima bar La Emolientería, Luis Aquije throws the emoliente with pisco, lime juice and simple syrup, serving it hot in the winter and cold in the summer. 

Note: For a Hot Toddy–like drink, use just 6 ounces of emoliente and halve the amounts of pisco, simple syrup and lime juice.


Serving: 1

  • 14 ounces emoliente (either hot or cold)
  • 14 ounces emoliente (either hot or cold)
  • 2 ounces quebranta pisco
  • 2 ounces quebranta pisco
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice

Garnish: lime wheel

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a tin.
  2. Throw the cocktail between two tins a few times to mix and aerate.
  3. Pour into a tall glass (with ice if the emoliente is cold).
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Editor's Note

This recipe makes about 5 liters of emoliente, enough for 12 servings of Emoliente Piteado (with 14 ounces of emoliente). Fresh herbs are preferred, though dried versions can be used, to taste, to brew a simplified emoliente.

250 grams barley
1 quince, quartered
1 Ceylon cinnamon stick
peel of 1/2 golden pineapple
5 liters water
100 grams hierba luisa (lemongrass)
100 grams manzanilla (chamomile)
100 grams toronjil (lemon balm)
100 grams menta (mint)
100 grams muña (Andean mint; if unavailable, use twice the amount of mint)
100 grams cedrón (lemon verbena)
100 grams cola de caballo (horsetail herb, a mild combination of chamomile and mint flavor)

In a dry skillet, toast the barley until golden. Place the barley, quince, cinnamon stick and pineapple peel in a large pot with water. Boil until the barley cracks open. Add the herbs and boil for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and strain the liquid, then compost the solid ingredients. Use hot emoliente to make a hot cocktail, or let cool for a cold cocktail. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 24 hours.