Guifity, a Traditional Garifuna Beverage

Have you ever heard about guifity? It is a traditional Garifuna alcoholic beverage that is readily available throughout the Garifuna Villages in Honduras. It is more prevalent in Atlantida, because there are many Garifuna Villages in this destination. Within the Tela Bay you can find a total of 6 Garifuna villages. These are Rio Tinto, Miami, Tornabe, San Juan, La Ensenada and Triunfo de la Cruz. In the vecinity of La Ceiba, you can find three more: Corozal, Sambo Creek and Nueva Armenia!


An exhibit of Gifity Franzua at the boardwalk in La Ceiba

In addition, there are more tourists in Atlantida that in the rest of the Caribbean Coast of Honduras. As such, the Garifuna people in this area are more apt to share this special beverage with you! Many restaurants prepare their very own special cocktails which include guifity as their main ingredient. But just what is guifity? It is a very bitter beverage whose origin comes from the west coast of Africa, and added elements from the Grenadines in the Caribbean and of course, Indura, as the Garifuna people call Honduras. Guifity in an infusion of many different roots and herbs. Normally, they use rum when preparing the infusion, but some people prefer to use vodka or even wine for a smoother taste.

It is purported to have medicinal attributes and many also consider it an aphrodisiac! This evidently creates an interest in visitors that come to Atlantida. Now there, you will ask, where can I try some Guifity? For one, there is no one special recipe to prepare it. However, there are many common elements to make this unique bitter infusion. You can taste guifity at many restaurants and bars within the Garifuna villages. Because it is usually prepared with low grade rum, I do not recommend having more that two shots. It is not meant to be a beverage to give you buzz. There are usually two types of guifity, the regular bitter one, and another that is reputedly sweet.

Exploring Corozal

La Corozaleña Bar, part of the Garifuna Cultural Heritage of Corozal

In Corozal, near La Ceiba, for example, the best guifity is to be found at a local bar called La Corozaleña. This is a regular hangout for locals and is a tourist friendly establishment. Don Marino, the owner personally prepares his own guifity. At Chamorros Restaurant, within the same village, you can try their own special cocktail, which they call “Sangre Garifuna” or Garifuna Blood. It is guifity mixed with hibiscus tea and is actually very good. Chamorro also sells his own bottled version of Guifity.

Triunfo de la Cruz

Gufity Walagante production laboratory in Triunfo de La Cruz, Tela

During my recent trip to Triunfo de la Cruz, I had the pleasure to meet Don Ceferino Norales. He is a friendly soul who despite being 80 years old still has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He has a small business and produces and bottles his own brand of guifity under the trademark of “Walagante”. Nearby, in Tela, you can stop by Cesar Mariscos Restaurant and ask for their very own “Mijito Teleño” a cocktail with guifity. As you can see, it is easy to find a place to taste some guifity, and it is certainly an experience to meet one of the brewers of this unique cultural beverage. Who knows, you may even find that it is indeed an aphrodisiac!