#175 Basi

Basi is a fermented alcoholic beverage made of sugarcane produced in the Philippines and Guyana (from Wikipedia).

Basi is the local beverage of Ilocos province in northern Luzon, Philippines. The town of San Ildefonso claims to be original producer of this local ‘wine’ which has been produced way before the Spanish colonial period. In the Philippines, commercial basi is produced by first crushing sugarcane and extracting the juice. The juice is boiled in vats and then stored in earthen jars.

Once the juice has cooled, flavourings made of ground glutinous rice and duhat (java plum) bark or other fruits or barks are added. The jars are then sealed with banana leaves and allowed to ferment for several years. The resulting drink is pale red in color. If fermented longer, it turns into vinegar.

Basi occupies a footnote in Philippine history. The 1807 Basi Revolt in Piddig, Ilocos Norte, took place when the Philippines’ Spanish rulers effectively banned the private manufacture of the beverage. On September 28, 2007 Philippines officials commemorated the “Basi Revolt”  in San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur.

Recently, the San Ildefonso town council also approved a city resolution declaring September 16 as a non-working holiday in honor of the Basi Revolt. A Basi Festival is also held annually in Naguilian, La Union.

Mabuhay ang basi!

1 Comment

Filed under Arts and Culture, Food

One response to “#175 Basi

  1. I’ve purchased this brand before. It was from a road side stand, just on the other side of the Gongogong River, between Sto. Domingo and Vigan.

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