Recipe: Inca Elixir

Inca Elixer | Recipes | Melbourne Cocktails

Inca Elixer

Just a few years ago, most of us had never heard of quinoa. The struggle to pronounce the word had not even begun. Next minute it’s broken free of specialised wholefood stores and faster than Robin could say ‘Holy Health Craze, Batman!’ its out in the mainstream.

Quinoa has been grown and used for human consumption in the Andean region for about 4000 years. The Inca Tribe considered it a sacred crop.

Vegans, nutritionists and dieticians in the West caught on that the “miracle grain of the Andes” was low fat, gluten free, high protein, high fibre, high in trace minerals and contained crime fighting … ah, I mean, free-radical scavenging … amino acids. Soon enough it’s a super food positioned front right and centre on the nutritional pyramid.

While it’s all great and dandy that the Western World has an alternative grain to rice, wheat and couscous, there is a dark side to all this. Our insatiable appetite for the nourishing little seeds is causing poverty back at the source.

Since 2006, the price of quinoa has tripled and the poorer countries can no longer afford it. In places like Bolivia where quinoa has always been their staple, even junk food is now cheaper and more available. Children in the quinoa-farming regions have been showing symptoms of chronic malnutrition. Meanwhile large corporations are mass exporting to keep up with demand in developed nations and not providing a fair price to farmers.

On the flip side, when ethical companies source quinoa through fair trade cooperatives, the indigenous farming communities of South America actually benefit. By buying fair trade, we can help to improve their standards of living, health and education.

So in actual fact by drinking cocktails I am making a contribution, providing I’m using FAIR Quinoa Vodka because it’s made with certified organic fair trade quinoa from Bolivia.


  • 45 ml FAIR Quinoa Vodka
  • 15 ml FAIR Goji Liqueur
  • 15 ml cardamom syrup (see note)
  • 5 ml lime juice
  • 1 tangelo, peeled and chopped
  • Garnish: tangelo rind rose and goji berries

Note: to make cardamom syrup, add 6 cracked cardamom pods and 200 ml water to a saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce to simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and measure. Add 1.5 parts caster sugar to 1 part mixture, stir until dissolved. Cool and set aside.


Add tangelo to shaker and muddle. Add vodka, liqueur, cardamom syrup, lime juice and ice cubes. Shake. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish

The perfect brunch cocktail!

Inca Elixer portrait


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