It’s not Rum, it’ not schnapps...Get to know the traditional Charanda

During your next visit to Pátzcuaro, besides enjoying the delicious cuisine of the region and visiting the main attractions, do not miss the chance to try and find out more about the Charanda, which is considered as the signature drink in the state of Michoacán.

The Charanda is a typical Michoacán product, specifically from the municipality of Uruapan. For many years it has been considered as schnapps, however it is actually some kind of a craft rum, as it comes from the distillation and fermentation of the sugar cane juice, molasses and piloncillo.

This drink was introduced in the Michoacán region at the beginning of the 16th century by the Augustinian monks. Being the sugar cane a product brought during the conquest, the Spanish crown protected all of its distillates, reason why the production of Charanda was forbidden during many years. Nevertheless, it was until 1790 that the chiringuito, as it was known back then, started to be accepted by the Michoacán society. Up to 40 distillation companies came into existence, only six of them remain until today and in 2013 the appellation of origin was given.

One of the elements that differentiate the Charanda from other beverages is the sugar cane with which it is made, as it is grown at altitudes higher than 1,800 masl, which results in a high concentration of sugar. Hence its strong and sweet taste.

Nowadays, the Charanda is in risk of disappearance, as the lack of resources hasn’t allowed to have a regulatory council, as it used to happen with the Tequila and the Mezcal. So, because of this and with the intention of rescuing and boosting this drink, by promoting it and announcing its appellation of origin, that the Charanda Festival came up. This initiative was promoted by the local chambers of commerce, along with the government of Uruapan and the state of Michoacán.

The second edition of the Charanda Festival will be performed on October 26th and 27th in the old train station. During these two days you will be able to enjoy all kinds of activities, such as tastings, conferences, live music shows, food displays, cultural and educational exhibitions, and a children's area, as it is a 100% familiar event.

Seize this second Charanda Festival to get to travel around the sugar cane municipalities in the state of Michoacan, where you can observe its lush vegetation and learn more about the history of this traditional drink. Start the journey by booking your stay at Best Western Posada de Don Vasco, its warm and comfortable rooms, now with Plus category, will be the perfect retreat to rest after your trip across Michoacán.

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Photo: Katamaniacos