Beer • Other Beverage • Spirits
Despite being the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Haiti still manages to get its fine beverage on. For liquor, their most notable is Barbancourt Rhum, which unfortunately, their factory suffered some serious setbacks during the January earthquake that rocked the small Caribbean country and killed over 200,000 Haitians. They lost quite a bit of rum and the factory sustained some serious damage as well.
The most dominate seems to be energy drinks. Toro (their marketing looks pretty similar to Red Bull), Gladiator, Atomic, Ragaman, etc. The list goes on and on, but they love their energy drinks and the trash of empty bottles strewn throughout the streets makes this evident. They don’t taste nearly as good as ours and they’re pretty syrupy, with the main ingredients being water and granulated sugar.
Beer doesn’t seem as popular, at least from what I’ve personally witnessed people drinking, but it definitely has a presence down here. The national beer of Haiti is a lager called Prestige, which surprisingly won the World Beer Cup in 2000 for its category. Guinness is also available down here, as is a caffeineted beer called Malta H. All are brewed down here at the same brewery.
Water is quite the commodity down here and people don’t have clean water and bottled water isn’t really sold. But small little IV bag looking things called Eau de Alaska (Water of Alaska) are pretty popular. They buy these, nibble a hole in the corner of the bag, and slurp down the water.
Soda is pretty common. Mostly coming from the Dominican Republic (remember
that Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic) from a Coca-Cola factory, where several different drinks are made.
I think that covers most of their beverage culture. We aren’t allowed to consume, buy, or be in possession of alcoholic drinks, so unfortunately I can’t report first hand on those. But I’ve tried the soda and energy drinks and I’ve had more of my share of bottled water sent from the States. Now if only I could get some rum…