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Guifiti

Among Garífuna communities on the Bay Islands or along the North Coast, the drink of choice is Guifiti, a traditional drink that combines alcohol with medicinal plants. Most families have their own, closely guarded recipe that is passed down through generations. Many people who do labor-intensive work that causes back strains and whose water supply is often tainted with parasites use Guifiti as a preventive cure for many of these ailments.

Garífuna sometimes alter recipes to provide different results. The most common recipes use around 7 different plants and roots, though some may contain as many as 40. The plant parts are chopped up and stuffed in a bottle, which is then filled with rum. Many of the plants added have sexual effects. They add certain seaweeds for more semen, a tree bark to cure menstrual cramps, and a certain herb to give more stamina in the bedroom. Other plants will reduce fevers and stress. It is quite common for many medicinal plants to be added for a sort of cure-all elixir. Many Garífuna believe that it is necessary to treat all body parts at once, so the entire body is strengthened and the weak parts can be healed faster.

If you want to try Guifiti, just show up to any Garífuna festival, and you'll see it being passed around. Occasionally, in small villages, you can find jugs with homemade Guifiti for sale. Some non-Garífuna restaurants and bars on the Bay Islands will even sell shots of Guifiti.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.