Yatay liquor

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Yatay liquor is obtained from the fruit of Butia yatay palm. The fruits are harvested when they begin to mature, as they fall from the trees. They are then hung in shady spots, as they ferment quickly, washed and left to macerate in alcohol for a year. The liquor manufacturing process begins with the preparation of the syrup, which is made by simmering sugared water. When it finished cooking, the syrup is poured and left and rest for about eight hours. Then it is mixed with the maceration of yatay fruits and alcohol, filtered and packed. Yatay liquor is native of Argentina, which, together with Uruguay, is the place of origin of the palm fruits used for its preparation. The plant is naturally found in both banks of Rio Uruguay in Argentina and in the eastern Republic of Uruguay. The largest concentrations of these palms can be found between 30 and 33 degrees of south latitude, which means especially in the northeast of Argentina, where the areas of Colon in the province of Entre Rios and Quebracho stand out. In Uruguay, they are especially common in the areas of Chapicuy, Porrúa and Mujica. As an effect of radiation and seed dispersal, the plant has spread well beyond its natural habitat, reaching Brazil as well. But nowadays farms, repeated burning of grasslands, the invasion of exotic flora and the trampling and grazing action of herbivores and livestock caused the palms to drastically reduce their number. Today the only significant Yatay palm population is conserved in the National Park of El Palmar, where nearly 2 million Butia yatay palms, approximately 250-year-old, grow on a 8500-hectare protected surface.Since ancient times, the fruit has been used for the production of liqueur, which is still produced for household consumption, and marketed only in small quantities in northwestern Argentina.

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