It’s been unusually cold lately in Bogotá. The weather is supposed to be like this normally and historically, but we’ve been spoiled by much milder temperatures in the last few years. With no central heating anywhere, Bogotanos have come up with other ways to deal with the cold.
One such remedy is agua aromática (aromatic water), or as I liked to call it when I was little, agua romántica (romantic water). This weekend on a chilly stroll through La Candelaria, we got some piping hot agua aromática from a vendor on wheels in the Plaza de Bolívar. You can find this drink at practically any restaurant, office and street corner throughout the city.
The aromas waft around in the crisp air and linger for blocks as several herbs and aromatics gently simmer away. Each vendor adds their own special touch – different combinations and intensities of herbs including spearmint, chamomile, hierba buena (mint), lemon balm, cidrón, sometimes fruits and even the occasional spice such as cinammon to name but a few things. This one in particular had some oranges in his pot and served the steaming drink with lemon juice and a bit of honey.
At about 50 cents a cup, it’s probably one of the best and most delicious ways to warm up your insides. So, when you smell it – and you will – enjoy a cup…