In 1979, at the beginning of the Nicaraguan Revolution, Lorena Vasquez moved from her hometown of San Marcos, Nicaragua, to Guatemala with her then-husband. The hardest thing about starting a new life in a new country was leaving his family behind, but he was able to make the most of it. In September 1984, he began work Jakpa room, Quality control; She was later promoted to distillery and became the first female master blender in the country. Over the decades, more and more women have become master blenders in the male-dominated industry, but the spirits industry has a long way to go.
His skills came from studying chemistry and food technology in college. While working at Jakapa, he developed them Solera system, Where the rum, made from virgin sugarcane juice, is not molasses – at an altitude of 2,300 meters (1.4 miles) above sea level, four caskets instead of just one. This allows the rum to serve less oxygen, pressure and temperature so that it can last longer, creating a richer and more complex product. Guatemala is not generally known for its Ram গুলি the Caribbean parts are more well-known কিন্তু but Vasquez and Jakapa have placed the country on the map as an excellent Ram carrier. Vasquez started an initiative to get 700 indigenous Guatemalan women to work from home and to weave palm bands (petets), which are wrapped around bottles of rum. “It was born out of necessity when the brand was growing to help the people of Guatemala, especially women,” Vasquez told Halfpost. “Each bottle of Jackapar contains a small portion of Guatemala.” In this version of it Voice in food, Vasquez, who refers to himself as a “guardian angel” because he oversees the whole process of Ram, spoke from his home in Guatemala City, Guatemala, about why he became a master blender, represented in the industry and how it was his destiny to work in Ram.
When I reached Jakapa, there were 200 men and me. When I started, many of these men were craftsmen rather than technical master blenders. I was coming from a technical side. I was relatively young and female, so trying to explain how to work differently for these older men who came from the artisan space to more technical space – it was a bit challenging. What really helped me was being humble and trying to learn as much as I could from these people. But I had to work harder than a man because I had to prove myself.
“It is very difficult to succeed without passion, because it is a very demanding job. … always ‘above all’ work. “
I have three suggestions for women who want to be a master blender. One, in this industry, it is very important to be prepared and to study and have knowledge of chemistry. Second, it is very important to train the nose – taste and aroma. Without it, it is very difficult to master blender. There is a lot of practice in this. The third is about emotions. It is very difficult to succeed without passion, because it is a very demanding job. It demands almost long hours and work. Being on top of everything is an “always” job. With passion, at least, you really enjoy traveling, and it makes things easier. I always try to work with women whenever possible. Women usually pay more attention to detail and have a greater sensitivity in the nose to perfume and taste.
I am training two master blenders: one female and the other a male. In every part of the process, you find women. Representation has improved a lot, but obviously we need more women to enter the industry. I think women like me can be an optimistic role model and inspire more women to come into the industry.
I studied pharmaceutical chemistry because my father was a doctor, and I didn’t want to study. In school, I was already good at math, physics and chemistry. I already love playing around with fragrance and taste. I realized I was good at it. I had a very clear idea that I wanted to do something between food and drink because I like something related to aroma and taste. I got a job at a bar [in Guatemala], But I didn’t like beer. It was a kind of trouble whenever I worked with beer. When I got the chance to go to Ron Zacapar, I took it.
“I had to work harder than a man because I had to prove myself.”
The rum industry has changed drastically over the years. In the beginning, rum was a very popular drink that was more for the masses. What Jakapa did was to establish a premium division. I get a lot of energy from being challenged with new products. My obsession is to work with taste and play, which brings me better, more consistent rum. I am passionate about making Guatemala known around the world as a country that produces good ROM because it allows them to create more jobs in Guatemala – not just the Jakapa, in general, the Guatemalan economy.
My grandmother used to make sugarcane cane at home. Many people went there to try it. It was really good. I realized that I was connected to ROM in multiple ways. That was my destiny. My father worked at a sugar mill hospital for a long time. If you look at my birthday in Mayan astrology, my symbol is sugarcane. Everything in my life is related to Ram.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.