Colombian brand Aguardiente Antioqueño won a gold medal in the Fourth International Rum Festival held in Florida in the U.S. The liquor was competing against 53 other spirits, 51 of them sugar cane based, RCN Radio reported.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, so what? What the hell is aguardiente anyway?
Well if you’re thinking this, then you’ve clearly never had a Big Night Out in Colombia.
Or been on a long(ish) bus ride.
There are different versions of aguardiente, or ‘firewater’, all over South America. In Colombia aguardiente is an anise-flavored liquor made from sugar cane. It has a 29% alcohol content. Colombians usually drink it straight, in shots. They drink it everywhere. You haven’t lived until you’ve witnessed a seventy year old couple polish off a bottle between them on the bus from Bogotá to Medellín.
Did I mention they love the stuff?
Apparently aguardiente sales are up 3% for the first quarter of 2009, in comparison with the same time last year. Between January and March of this year, 6.5 million bottles were sold. Assuming a modest estimate, that most units sold were the traditional 350 milliliter bottles, then almost 3 million liters of aguardiente were consumed in the first few months of this year! Dios mio, no wonder Colombians have a reputation for fiestas.
Then again, Colombia is said to be the second happiest nation in the world. 3 million liters and a gold medal must count for something right?