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Ecuador, Quito, La Mariscal

bottled aguardiente

Zhumir (pronounced SHOE-MEER) Latin Spirit, is an extremely popular Ecuadorian brand of aguardiente (burning water), derived from fermented and distilled cane sugar. Zhumir uses sugar cane from Azuay province in southern Ecuador, processing and bottling it in its Cuenca distillery, where it has been producing alcoholic beverages since 1966.

Zhumir, meaning “spirit,” a term coined by Francisco Cabeza de Vaca in the late 19th century, began as a small-scale producer, marketing its products to businesses. High demand for its products led it to expand into industrial-scale production, becoming one of Ecuador's biggest bottlers of aguardiente.

Ever-expanding in its line of flavored, dry and mixed alcohol products, Zhumir is the drink of choice for locals, especially those keen on, let's face it, getting absolutely wasted. The clear drink has a vaguely vodka-esque taste, and can be deadly if consumed with reckless abandon. Bottles of Zhumir start at $4.50, and flavors include apple, peach, passionfruit and watermelon. The classic Zhumir Aguardiente De Mi Tierra contains 43% alcohol, and there's a 68-proof flavorless version, in addition to the many mixed liquers, such as piña colada and chocolate cream. You can pick up a bottle in virtually every corner store in Quito, and the shelves of liquor stores are lined with the entire Zhumir family.


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31 May 2010

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