This page is about the drink, for other uses, see Guaro
Guaro is a liquor made in many places in South and Central America. It is a clear liquor made from sugar cane, and has a slightly sweeter taste than comparable liquors. Guaro is a popular alcoholic drink in Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, although in many places the word "guaro" can refer to almost any liquor. Guaro is made by a distillation process of sugarcane juices, resulting in an alcohol that is clear in color and has a slightly sweet flavor.
The name "Guaro" came from Central America. Colombian's call it Aguardiente. Sometimes guaro is referred to as a "soft vodka" because it has a lower alcohol content than vodka. 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 or illegal guaro) and is produced by various methods, all through distillation, but with different base ingredients. Base ingredients are 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. In a separate development, Tranquilo Imports began marketing Guaro Tranquilo in Texas in 2005. But by 2007, guaro was still difficult to find in U.S. markets.
- "Ley Reguladora de la Venta de Bebidas Alcoholicas. Expediente Nº 15.477 (22 de noviembre de 2005)". Archived from the original on 2008-03-09. English translation Costa Rican law regulating sale of alcohol.