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Api is the Quechuan name for a beverage obtained through the fermentation of purple corn.
The beverage is consumed hot and many health benefits are attributed to it. It is traditionally consumed in the Andine regions of Bolivia, especially in the departments of La Paz, Oruro, Potosí, Chuquisaca, Tarija and Cochamamba, but can also be found in Argentina, where it is consumed in the north, in the provinces of Jujuy, Salta and Tucuman.
Historically, the corn was immersed into hot water containing sugar and zest of citrus fruits and then let to ferment for a few days, until the end of the process. After, it was filtered and boiled for about 20 minutes with the addition of spices such as cloves, cinnamon and more sugar.

Api is a typical beverage for festivities. It is said that it has Incan origins, but the recipe has changed over time. A big change occurred with the arrival of the Spanish colonists, who, with the diffusion of sugar cane as a sweetener, were the first to enjoy sweetened api, after which it started to be considered a sweet beverage.

It is still possible to buy sachets of ready-made dried api in some supermarkets, to be consumed after mixing it with water. Api consumption is decreasing because of the reduction of small-scale farming, genetic erosion caused by cross-breeding different varieties of corn, and the decrease in time dedicated to such preparations.

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Distilled and fermented beverages

Nominated by:Alejandra Pais