Enjoying a Calafate Sour at the fireplace of The Singular Hotel's bar
The taste: Mind the thorns on the Calafate bush and you'll be rewarded with a sweet nectar extremely high in antioxidants. Forget açaí; it's Calafate the world should be fawning over for its taste and health properties (even the roots are medicinal). In flavor, it's like a cross of blackberry and mulberry with a higher sweetness than one would expect. Bonus: there's no seeds to get stuck in your teeth. Turning it into liqueur or jam brings out a tartness that absolutely appeals to this fan of sour treats.
The price: Varies depending on product, but plan on $3-5 for a jar of calafate jam, and $5-8 for a Calafate Sour cocktail or bottle of the liquor.
Where to find it: We purchased Calafate liqueur in the gift shop at the Hotel Las Torres and the Calafate jam at the excellent shop El Ovejero (located in Cerro Castillo, at the border between Puerto Natales and El Calafate). Also look for it on restaurant menus, as the berry juice makes a lovely dessert sauce.
The easiest place to try calafate berries, however, is anywhere in the town of El Calafate, or at Puerto Natales' The Singular Hotel's bar, where they serve Pisco Sours with a hint of calafate, and also a wholly Calafate Sour cocktail.
Calafate liqueur bottles at the Hotel Las Torres
If you'd like to share some of your foreign grocery finds, we'd love love love to see them. Send 'em on over via email here and snack on, my friends.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted, TravelingLao]