Fiesta del Orujo

Potes is a pretty little town situated in the Picos de Europa mountains of Cantabria in northern Spain. Every year in November it celebrates the aguardiente Fiesta del Orujo. Aguardiente, a spirit made from grapes, averages 40% alcohol and is a real throat burner.

The fiesta always takes place during a weekend and involves stills being set up in the streets and aguardient being made on the spot using a technique invloving heating the grape mix and distilling the alcohol. There is a competition to find the person who makes the best Orujo and he is awarded the title of “great Orujero”.

Many of the locals dress up in traditional costumes and there is traditional music and dancing. Glasses of Orujo are offered to everyone who attends the fiesta and is actually available in a variety of flavours.

As in most Spanish fiestas plenty of eating takes place and the main food involved is chorizo, morcilla “black pudding”, pork ribs, chickpeas and other cheap cuts of meat.

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