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Clairin - The Spirit of Haiti

The wild white rum of the Haitian people: an unexplored and timeless treasure
Region Haiti (Caraibi)
Address Haiti

The discovery, marketing and valorisation of Clairin rum, the artisanal sugarcane distillate of the Haitian people, was a project that was created and launched by Luca Gargano of Velier, which is an Italian distribution company that is famous for having coined the Triple A brand for small artisanal productions around the world. Clairin, which Gargano has nicknamed "the spirit of Haiti", is a Rum Agricole that is produced artisanally by the Haitian people and consumed traditionally in the territory.

The identity of Clairin is closely linked to the political events of this Caribbean country, which still today has 532 very small home distilleries, compared to only about 50 distilleries in the rest of the Caribbean. Haiti gained colonial independence in 1804 and was immediately branded as a subversive state. This early independence was responsible for a lack of economic development, although it was also a necessary condition to ensure that the ancient traditions of the African population remained preserved. Even today, in the centre of the Caribbean, the traditions of the African continent have been continued and the island is often referred to as 'more African than Africa'. Many indigenous and local varieties of sugar cane have also been successfully preserved and are grown in small polycultures with other exotic plants. Pesticides, fertilisers and chemicals have never made their way to the island. Everything is done manually, from planting the canes to harvesting them 18 months later followed by manual cutting and transportation by ox carts to the distillery, where the canes are pressed in stone mills.

The Clairin sold by Velier have been awarded the Triple A rating, as a guarantee of craftsmanship, for the following reasons: only indigenous varieties of sugar cane are used; the cultivation, harvesting and transport are strictly manual or with the assistance of animals; the fermentation of the sugar cane juice is spontaneous and lasts at least 120 hours in oak or mango wood vats; the distillation is single and is conducted with artisanal, primitive stills over direct heat; and the bottling immediately follows the distillation. This results in expressions of unique and unrivalled typicality, produced by small artisan distillers who are gifted with creativity and artistic sense. Luca Gargano has chosen to promote these products worldwide, thereby protecting this invaluable ancestral heritage.

The Clairins of the Haitian distilleries