High altitudes: they're normally reserved for athletes looking to intensify their training regimen, or people who are really, really into boiling water quickly. For high-and-mighty flavor from intense elevations, try Guatemala's Zacapa Rum.
Made from virgin sugarcane honey instead of molasses, Zacapa Rum is aged in The House Above the Clouds, a Quetzaltenango highlands facility 8,000 feet above sea level. There, a mile and a half up, thin air and low pressure allow for a more vigorous infusion of flavors from bourbon, sherry, and wine barrels, during a process modeled after a 500-year-old Spanish tradition called Sistema Solera -- a delicate, staggered affair still more exciting to watch than Sistema Solaris. Each Zacapa bottle honors its homeland's Mayan roots through a storied adornment: a hand-crafted petate band representing the unity of time, space, earth, and sky, much like earth, wind, and fire once represented the unity of funk and R&B, plus some disco and pop.
To learn more about this exceptional spirit -- including the story of Zacapa's glorious lowland origins -- hit them up on Facebook, a totally non-athletic endeavor for which you need absolutely zero training.
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RON ZACAPA Rum. 40% Alc/Vol. © 2011 Imported by The Ron Zacapa Co., Norwalk, CT.
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