While walking around Cali yesterday we came across a concert with bands from Colombia’s Pacific Coast. The most popular style of music from there is called Currulao. Its largely afro-influenced, the main instrument is a Marimba, a wooden xylophone originally from Africa. Like any concert, there was also plenty to eat and drink.
Here’s a vendor making Guarapo, a raw sugarcane juice with lime. The raw juice is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and it’s sweet and refreshing.
To make Guarapo, he cuts the sugarcane in half the long way, making it easier to pass through the press. The press, or trapiche, extracts the raw juice from the sugarcane, sending the crushed cane out the other side. If they were making panela, the raw juice would be slowly heated over low heat until most of the water evaporates and becomes a thick syrup. But here they add some fresh lime juice and viola, Guarapo.
We also met Camilo. He makes traditional Afro-Pacifico alcohol from sugarcane. He made us try every single one.😜
First we tried the Viche, a super strong, clear liquor made from sugarcane. Viche doesn't have a distinct flavor, it tastes kind of like vodka. For centuries Viche was used as a stomach medicine and aphrodisiac. Now, just the latter.😉 Next we tried the Arrechon, which is Viche with condensed milk, cloves and cinnamon. It tastes pretty good, but I’m not into milk + liquor. We finished with a shot of Tomaseca, my favorite. Tomaseca is kind of like an apéritif. It’s Viche infused with herbs and spices that give it a warm, woody taste.