What Puerto Rican doesn’t remember when your grandmother rubbed you down with alcoholado to relieve a fever?
Almost every home in Puerto Rico has a bottle of alcoholado. Either in their medicine chest or on the bedside table. It’s part of our Puerto Rican culture!
What is Alcoholado?
Alcoholado, Alcolado or Bay Rum is a blend of alcohol and natural extracts such as bay rum, menthol and eucalyptus. It is used locally to relieve fever, muscle aches, insect bites and more.
There are two varieties. The commercial type, like Superior 70. They began manufacturing in 1911 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. You can get it at any local pharmacy.
The other variety is handmade and homemade. That’s the method that Caribbean Soaps uses.
Many family recipes abound, from adding fresh aloe, camphor and menthol crystals, fideillo plant and many other ingredients.
What every alcoholado must have is Malagueta leaves. Also known as West Indian bay. . The Malagueta leaf is what gives its characteristic aroma and its analgesic and antibacterial properties.
In Puerto Rico, Malagueta is mistakenly called Eucalyptus. With the Malagueta leaves we prepare the Alcoholado. It is very rare to see this species of Eucalyptus (Globulus) on our island. You can learn more about the difference between Eucalyptus and Malagueta on our blog.
Uses of Alcoholado
– A bath to lower the fever.
– A friction for muscular pain.
– Smell it directly from the bottle for clearing your nose.
– Headache relief by applying a cold compress on the forehead.
– Aftershave to prevent razor burn.
– Relieve insects bites.
– Some people even use it as a perfume !!!!
How is Artisanal Alcoholado Made?
First, we select the best leaves of the Malagueta tree and immerse them in ethyl alcohol for several months. The alcohol wil extract the essence of the leaf making it darker over time.
Then, we add more plant extracts, called essential oils. These oils are Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Camphor and others but we cannot divulge all our recipe!
Then, we make sure that the alcohol content is correct using a hydrometer.
Finally, before filling the bottles, we add Malagueta leaves and spices such as cloves and pepper to the bottle and that’s it!
Visit our online store to purchase our alcoholado here.
You can also try our 9 POTENCIAS BALM and 9 POTENCIAS LINIMENT for pain relief.
Interestingly, alcoholado can be found in many parts of the Caribbean. They call it “Bay Rum” and the leaf, West Indian Bay. On the island of Dominica, they prepare an alcoholado similar to ours. It is known to regrow hair, stimulate the scalp and reduce dandruff.
Also, in St. John the leaf is distilled to prepare a well-known aftershave, St Johns Fragrance Company
3 thoughts on “What is Alcoholado?”
In the Dominican Republic, they have a cure all called Mamajuana. It also is a bottle of rum alcohol with leaves and honey in it, but it’s strictly for drinking. They take one shot a day. We have a bottle at my family home and you can add more rum and honey whennthe botyle is low; it tastes like cinnamon. One could compare it to the taste of Fireball.Can you injest this kind of alcoholado or is it strictly for external use only?
Hola, only for external use.
Live in Oregon USA I always have mi superior 70 with me when I run out call my mother do you know that my mother add alcanfor y menthol crystals to get more powerful she always said this kill germs even on air she put it on us when children’s when she had a cold to prevent us to get sick and works this is really effective Iam 61 be created you got something very effective think superior 70 pudede ser very effective juan c Mendoza #5414095590.