of the alchemy
del Pinar is the typical liquor of Pinar del Río Province.
Nobody dares to classify it, for that reason they don't call
it neither rum, nor Whiskey or any other name, so they denominate
it as flavorful liquor of Vueltabajo that has its history, dry
or sweet that has gone beyond the frontiers.
origins get lost in the times of the colony, when some families
of Spain settled down in the riverbanks of Cuyaguateje river
began to cultivate tobacco in small parcels, since the end of
the XVI century.
was a very old habit among the tobacco planters in Pinar del Río
to drink in the mornings, in the cold months, some spirituous liquor
to enter the furrow with good willing, where the collection of the
leaf soaked the clothes and the body felt it.
the beginning, like it is natural, the man in the fields used
in gusty mornings to drink spirituous liquor, the first derived
Cuban drink of the guarapo, juice of the sugar cane that it
was necessary to ferment first and to distill later.
was a warm up activity, and the hard task of the tobacco planter
became more bearable inside the humid plantations. But the spirituous
liquor (in Spanish Aguardiente) is rough liquor, the one that
certainly makes honor to its name, and more than for bad habit
they drink it for pure necessity.
that for the area, to the shade of the pinegroves, in the banks of
the streams and the salients of some other flagstones of the hills
in vueltabajo, grew wild an indigenous plant, guava tree of small
size that gave a little fruit that, for its dimensions, it deserved
the name of guayabita (little guava), happy baptism given by those
could say how that casual encounter between the Guaybita and
the old liquor happened, sublime union to which later sugar
was added to give after some time in carafes a prodigy of the
alchemy: The Guayabita del Pinar.
is in 1892 when the Guayabita takes identity and it stops being
a homemade compound that resurges as industrial production in
a big house in 189 Isabel Rubio street, between Sol and Virtues
streets, in the capital of Pinar del Río, place that
at the moment it occupies.
in 1871, ten kilometers far from Bilbao, in the village of Baguio,
Lucio Garay Zabala was born, the men of Vueltabajo, in Cuba, could
not imagine that that delicious drink would be a victory later and
what was common for them would become something extraordinary with
the passing of time.
with his brother Fulgencio, Lucio traveled to Havana in search of
fortune, in his mind he brought fresh the memories of musts and wines.
relationships with other peninsular ones, in June 24,1892 brought
to the market the brandy El Globo. That same year Garay registers
two new products: anisette El Portador and the brandi La Africana.
in the search of new markets, moves to Vueltabajo where the tobacco
planters of the aromatic leaf and strange customs are, who desired
that drink that besides heating the throat in humid mornings,
was said to have medicinal and digestive virtues.
business of the Guayabita goes on. Since 1892 the liquor
goes increasing and it becomes the queen of Vueltabajo.
Although it is certain that it appeared of a well-known
liquor, Lucio had more than enough merits because he knew
to value and to make even more popular the Guayabita del
Pinar; he also established the effective measures for the
fabrication and he obtained the first patent for its industrial
necessary to add a detail: the old liquor with the time was substituted
by the alcohol, obtained by distillation of the fine honeys that wastefully
produced the numerous sugar mills of the nation. This way, alcoholic
breakups, white sugar, the little fruit of the dwarf guava tree, and
also the complicity of the time in the hogsheads, produced the nectar
of the white and black gods, hold then under Lucio's hand , to a more
uniform process, for the demanding palate in what refers to tasters.
Guayabita continued imposing as a liquor of first quality.
With the increase of the demand, Lucio's business is enlarged
and in March 3, 1904 inscribe in the book of marks and patents
his factory La Occidental, forerunner of the old formula
that has arrived entire until our days for delight of the
was a tenacious defender of the kindness of his liquor,
and to demonstrate that the facts went farther than the
words, he sends a sample to the Exhibition of Cuban liquors,
carried out in Havana in 1911, where the variant of the
Dry Guayabita del Pinar won the Great Prize.
was like this that the smiling proprietor could see forever to
take off the creature that he has adopted as his.
in 1925 when the Guayabita receives the biggest prize being Lucio
Garay alive: the Gold Medal in the International Fair of Rome. There
the índigenous liquor competed with accustomed wines and cognacs
of the most rancid and ancestry origin, and it imposes its condition
of unquestionable queen for fortune of the Garay family.
quality of the liquor has stayed invariable under the state
production. Roberto Ortega Falero, administrator of the factory
at the moment, referred that first it is necessary to collect
the little fruit during July and August, only moments of the
year in which the fructification occurs, later it is necessary
to select the fruit because the mature ones are left for seeds.
knows -said - that it is an endemic plant of the region that cannot
be found in another area of the world and therefore it is necessary
to sow the seeds to maintain that prodigy of nature. Gramales, Sumidero,
Bajas, Punta de la Sierra, Bolondrón, Cuchillas de San Simón,
El Moncada, San Diego and El cerro de Cabras, are, among others, points
where can be seen growing wild the dwarf guava tree that gives the
strawberries to elaborate the delicious liquor."
Guayabita is put to macerate in oak barrels full with alcoholic solution
reduced to the 50 percent; in each barrel of 500 liters are thrown
two quintals of the fruit, where they will remain in that state during
30 days like minimum, enough so that the alcohol is impregnated with
the scent and flavor of the guava.
alcohol with the time that requests the wisdom, is now put
in the revealer, in which are measured the proportions which
will go to the spout tank, place in which the mixture rests
during 24 hours. We cannot forget that among the ingredients
they are the refined sugar, maceration of the oak and water
one has the wanted alcoholic degree, for which is fundamental the
work in the laboratory, the liquor is carried to the aging cellar,
where the dry Guayabita will remain during three months, while for
the sweet one with two is enough.
of rest is one of the main secrets of the process, because if it is
given more time than required to the breakup it can absorb the flavor
of the wood of the barrel and if it is given less time, it can lose
then and not to fix the flavor of the guava... in short, a magic of
the ethylic alchemy.
moments the factory is in an investor process to enlarge its capacities
due to the great demand. It is purpose to arrive this year to 100
000 boxes, always to continue growing.
the other hand, as it has been said, the base of the liquor
is in the fields and to assure the plantations of the dwarf
guava tree, are established the bases of a development of
the species that rests in the biotechnology, thanks to the
combined work with the Hermnos Saiz University of Pinar del
Río and it is the intention of the industry to assist
the new plantations that are arising, without disregarding
those that grow wild in the mountains.
someone learns how to eat, to comb or to get dressed in an appropriate
way, it happens equally with the spirituous liquors: it is necessary
to know how to drink them, to degust them in the best moment and
with civilized ways. That is in fact the purpose of this invitation
to the Guayabita del Pinar that is to offer you through the sensations
of the good pleasure a part of the culture in Pinar del Río
arisen soon after our ancestors.