Cape Verde Grogue
The trend of making rum and beverages was evolved from Cape Verdean because of their joyous nature of celebrating occasions to full height. Grogue also was known as Grogu or Grogo has different flavors that remind you of passion and traditions. The taste can be customized by adding lime and a hint of cinnamon which reminds you of the sunset. Due to its vast production, grogue is also known as the gold of Cape Verde.
Grogue is Cape Verdean’s national alcoholic beverage that many of its people crave for. The smell of the beverage is like a warm banana though it is an alcoholic beverage but smells like sweet sugar because of the distilled use of alcohol to 40 percent.
The History of Cape Verde Grogue
The production of Grogue began sometime in the mid 1400’s by the Portuguese shortly after the colonization of the Cape Verde islands. Sugarcane, the main ingredient used for making grogue was brought to Cape Verde from the Caribbeans and was cultivated by the slaves. Grogue was introduced to Europe around the 1700’s by the British Royal Navy and remained predominantly illegal until legalization in the 1900’s.Grogue was initially made for sale to the British Royal Navy that frequented the island of Sao Vicente.
As production on the islands became popular, the Portuguese authoritiesfeared the impact it would have on the slave populace and later prohibited production.Production of grogue continued illicity throughout Cape Verde but small distilleries continued production of small batches of moonshine. Today, most of the existing distilleries in Cape Verde have roots back to these original grogue brewers.
Today, Cape Verde Grogue is manufactured in large quantities within the islands of Santo Antao and Santiago where the sugarcane is harvested towards the end of Spring. The sugarcane is cut manually using various cutting tools such as a macheted. The sugarcanes are cut to size and prepared by eliminating the leaves to produce lengthy stalks. These stalks are usually tied into approximately forty pound bundles and transported by women on the top of their heads to the production area and eventually pressed through a trapiche.
A Trapiche is awooden mill that is used to squeeze the juice out the sugarcane. The trapiche functions by having a mule or ox pull the wooden shaft connected to the center of trapiche in a rotating motion. Today however very few distilleries rely on the traditional trapiche and depend more on gasoline powered machines for extracting juice out of the sugarcane.
Since the legalization of grogue in the 1900’s, its production and distribution has been mostly unregulated until recently where new laws and restrictions are being enforced by the government.
What are the elements of Cape Verde Grogue?
Pure Cape Verdean grogue is essentially prepared from sugarcane and distilled water. The flavor of grogue however can be enhanced in many different ways. The traditional and popular grogue cocktail involves mixing grogue with melted sugar cane molasses and lime. This mixture is referred to as ponche. Many other cocktail mixtures are added to Grogue such as lime, cinnamon along with many other fruit flavors.
The Gold of Cape Verde
Cape Verde Grogue is also known as the gold of the islands because of a large amount of sugar cane cultivation. Grogue or grogue cocktails are liked by almost Every Cape Verdeans and out of the large variety of distilleries, grogue is the only alcoholic beverage that is considered the national drink of Cape Verde.
If you want the refreshing hint to swipe then give it a try. Or just simply get yourself a ‘Got Grogue’ T-Shirt to commemorate this traditional and national drink of Cape Verde exclusively here at CV SWAG!