HAVANA, Dec. 5 Although there is a consensus that canchánchara—that drink made with two ounces of cane liquor, two tablespoons of honey,another of lemon juice and a few pieces of ice— emerged during the wars of the 19th century in the eastern jungle and not in Trinidad, it was in that city in the south-central part of Cuba where it has taken root and its inhabitants defend it as what in reality is: expression of authenticity and Cubanness.
Contributions to the original formula, promotion of the drink in all existing tourist guides and even an installation named precisely that way, La canchánchara, are among the strategies that Trinidadians have found to keep the famous drink safe.
Added to these initiatives this year is the first edition of an event that, under the name of Canchánchara Festival, Tradition and Culture, from December 8 to 10 will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the inclusion of Trinidad and its Valley of the Ingenios on the list. of World Heritage and the 510th birthday of the third town, to be commemorated next January.
“The event is designed to honor what is most representative of a city that treasures unique values,” declared Pepe López, promoter of the event, musician and composer, to the local press, who also announced, it as the highlight of the event, the intention of establishing a Guinness Record for the largest canchánchara in the world.
With such an intention in mind, the organizers called on the Santander family, with a deep pottery tradition in the region and with solid work scattered around the world, to make the enormous clay vessel where the unique cocktail, which has become in an added value of the Trinidadian product and a kind of exclusive offer that cannot be missing from any tourist’s agenda.
The initiative of the giant canchánchara has generated expectations among Cubans, who question in this case, as in previous festivals and competitions, whether a waste of this kind is fair in the midst of the precarious conditions in which the people live.
Beyond the controversy surrounding the Guinness Record, the Canchánchara, Tradition and Culture Festival is conceived as a great party for Trinidadians and national and foreign visitors, in which there will be no shortage of galas, artisan meetings, exhibitions, recognition of personalities and concerts, all with the ultimate objective of making one of the most important and complete tourist destinations on the island more visible.