Chichaito: the new Cosmopolitan

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I have to admit that I had my share of (quite too many) cosmos back in the early millennium during my college years. I was weak, a bit overweight, naïve, blonde and obviously a fan of Carrie Bradshaw’s. Since then, I have upgraded from a martini glass to a couple of weekly canecas of Chichaito with my friends.

This elixir/magic potion/Puerto Rican delicacy/the devil is always there when you need it, and for $3 a caneca (aka one of those flask-sized bottles available at liquor stores), who wants to pay $12 for a fruity martini anymore? I may pay a lot (or nothing at all) for my clothes, but when it comes to getting piss-drunk, cheap is the way to go. Porque me gusta así.

So…Chichaito, qué es? Dónde lo consigo? A qué sabe? Y por que me besé con 3 nenas y 4 nenes anoche???

This drink, actually a shot, is a mixture of white rum (Palo Viejo, plis) and Anise liqueur that’s drunk as an après-diner to help your digestion after un atracón de carne frita y arró’ con habichuela’. If you go for a meal at La Casita Blanca in Santurce, for example, your waiter will give you a complementary shot after your meal. And here is where the problems begin.

This poor man’s Cointreau is supposed to be consumed slowly and in moderation. Pero nosotros no creemos en lo lento y lo poquito; we pledge allegiance a lo rápido y en demasía. That’s why in Rio Piedras, we all flock to El Refugio (or used to since it got taken over by a bunch of charros) para nuestras canecas de chichaito, which are meant to be shared. In any given night, you’ll see back pockets of skinny jeans stashed with kanekas or girls and boys handing out shots from their tote bags, followed by a chaser of good ol’ Medalla.

In a recent trip back to la Isla, unos cuantos cosmopolatinos (you know who you are!), were introduced to Chichaito by yours truly. Side effects included: non stop dancing, jabbering, groping, heavy perspiration, even heavier breathing and one or two items of clothing disappearing. Needless to say, despite having the worst hang-over for less than the cost of a typical cab ride to Brooklyn, they kept begging for more.

But, the problem is: how can you get it back in los nuyores? Fácil: you simply make it at home and take it with you out and about.

Go to any bodega or liquor store and buy a caneca (or two, or three), a small, travel sized bottle of white rum–as I said…of PALO VIEJO–and a bottle of Anise liqueur. Pour out 1/3 of the rum (and mix it with whatever u like…), pour in the Anise and shake, shake, shake it. You can play with how much rum or anise flavor you want. The problem is, the sweeter it is, the more likely you won’t remember where your pants are the next morning. If there are no canecas around, just get a liter of rum and anise and mix it up in a 16oz. bottle of water (I’m sure if Lindsay Lohan reads Remezcla–and you know she does!–she’s taking notes), and ride the subway away.


By the time you get to your party, all you will need is somebody to grope and dance the night away with! Pero no se quejen despúes. You’ve been forewarned.