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Pontche from Cape Verde is a typical and very important drink. It is used to welcome guests in every home and consumed for any occasion. The choice is simple: grogue or pontche. In the traditional version worthy of protection against innumerable industrial copies, both are made almost exclusively from the processing of cane sugar. On the Arca del gusto the method of production is the same as that for grogue, with the addition of cane honey to soften and sweeten the strong and bitter taste of pure grog.
The cane is collected when it is flowering (between March and June), the leaves are removed by hand and used to feed the alembic fire or for animal forage. The canes are cut and then squashed or de-pulped by the rollers of the ""trapiche"", an electric grinder that was once animal-powered. The syrup produced, called kalda, is poured into very large wooden bins and left to ferment for 5-10 days. No raising agent is added. After fermentation is it placed in a large copper alembic, called lambiki, that holds around 200 litres. It is placed above a stone fire stocked with cane leaves, dry banana or palm leaves and different types of wood. When the steam exits from the coil, water is allowed to flow in the koxe, the conduit that permits cooling. This is the start of the distillation process. The steam condenses along the cooling tube and the distillate drips or flows slowly from the end.
To make cane honey, the cane is first washed and then pressed until juice is extracted. This juice is cooked in a container for a least five hours. A dense syrup is formed that is left to cool and then cooked again with the addition of sugar. Pontche is a variant of grogue, although a product in its own right, with the addition of the molasses of cane honey and at times, lemon juice. Pontche and artisan grogue are protected from industrial counterfeiting by a national association (Confraria do Grog or CONGROG) in Ribeira Grande, on the Island of Santo Antao.

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StateCape Verde

Ribeira Grande

Other info


Distilled and fermented beverages

Nominated by:Emanuele Dughera