Guaro (drink)

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This page is about the drink, for other uses, see Guaro

A guaro sour served in Quepos, Costa Rica

Guaro is a liquor made in many places in Latin America. A clear liquid distilled from sugar cane juices, it has a slightly sweeter taste than comparable liquors. Guaro is a popular alcoholic drink in Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Guatemala, although in many places the word "guaro" can refer to almost any liquor.

The name "Guaro" came from Central America. Colombians call it Aguardiente. Sometimes guaro is referred to as a "soft vodka" because it has a lower alcohol content than vodka.

Clandestine production[edit]

In Costa Rica, the government nationalized its manufacture in an effort to quell the clandestine production of liquor. The Fabrica Nacional de Licores (National Liquor Factory) was founded for this reason, and currently produces the only legal brand, Cacique Guaro. Clandestine liquor production is still prevalent, but it is seen more as a tradition than a business as it would be difficult to compete with the nationally produced guaro. The illegal version of the product is often called Guaro de contrabando ("smuggled guaro") and is produced by various methods, all through distillation, but with different base ingredients, typically fruits or sweets from other sources, molasses from sugarcane or simply sugar.


In 2004, one Costa Rican English-language newspaper A.M. Costa Rica announced that S. Guaro LLC had begun exporting guaro to California.[1] In a separate development, Tranquilo Imports began marketing Guaro Tranquilo in Texas in 2005.[2] As of 2007, guaro was still difficult to find in U.S. markets.[3]



  1. ^ Humble guaro goes to West Coast to be a star A.M. Costa Rica, April 21, 2004.
  2. ^ Barnes, Michael (May 5, 2005). Gotta guaro? Coming soon to a bar near you. Riverside Press-Enterprise, Cox News Service.
  3. ^ Dowd, William M. (July 3, 2007). Down on Drinks: Costa Rican Treat Elusive. Falls Church News-Press.