A Trip to Guatemala for Zacapa Rum
Booze Writer Switcheroo in San Francisco

Guatemala Miscellany

My post on how rum is aged at Zacapa will have to wait another day- I thought I fully understood it but an item on a slide tripped me up. Time for a fact-check!

In the meantime, here are some other items of interest:

- There is now an Alcademics channel on YouTube

- I am new to taking video, so most of them are shaky and boring. You have been warned. 

Highlights:

A demonstration of sugar cane being cut by hand. Note that this is cleaned up and un-burned sugar cane, but the process is otherwise the same. The machetes they use have a sideways blade to allow more of the root of the plant to be cut.

View from the helicopter going to aging facility. You can see cloud-covered mountains, farmland, and other dramatic scenery. Guatemala has rich and fertile mountainous terrain, great for growing coffee and by the ocean, sugarcane for rum. Fun fact: Guatemala is also a major export market for mini vegetables that get sent to Japan. If you're ever in Guatemala I recommend a helicopter tour unless, like me, you find it absolutely terrifying. 

This is the village soccer field where we landed the helicopters. Everybody came out to check us out. 

 At the aging facility they re-char ex-bourbon barrels that are used in part of the rum aging process. This is the machine that does it. Fire!

The straw bands around bottles of Zacapa? They're woven by hand and each one takes 20 minutes to make. Here is a demonstration they did for us. You can (sorta) hear the English translator talking as well as the weavers. 

After the rum tour, we did some fun stuff in Guatemala including hiking up a volcano and playing with lava (fast-forward to :40)!

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

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