We think the best souvenirs are those things made in the Dominican Republic and reflect the culture and crafts of the country. They will deliver the most joy to you and your loved ones and will long remind you of your journey to the Caribbean.
Dominican Republic - the country is mainly agricultural. A variety of vegetables and tropical fruits are grown along with sugar cane, coffee, cocoa and tobacco. Therefore, you should consider first a gift from the Dominican fields.
Alcohol everywhere is made from some kind of by-product. In Mexico - from cactus, in Africa - from palm juice and in the Dominican Republic - from a by-product of sugar production. That is, from molasses. No longer needed for sugar, it is used to create a drink - rum - well known to all from books and films about pirates.
By the way, the pirates did not take to rum just to get intoxicated although, of course, pirates, and indeed many sailors were attracted to it for this reason. The reason is simple: on long voyages, ships stored water in barrels and drinking water spoiled. To drown the musty taste and smell, rum was added to the water. At the same time, rum served as an anti-septic .
Which Dominican rum is better? The answer is difficult because the number of brands of Rum in the Dominican Republic exceeds one hundred. Everyone will find something to his or her taste.
Rum may be dark (seasoned) or light (ordinary). The color of the drink depends on the aging time and the type of plant supplement. It is believed that dark rum should be drunk in pure form and light - added to cocktails.
One of the most popular brands of Dominican rum is "Brugal". It has been bottled since 1888. It is also the most recognizable since its label strongly resembles the flag of the Dominican Republic.
Distributed in the Dominican Republic along with other relatively inexpensive varieties are "Ron Barselo" and "Bermudez". Each of these brands offers at least five varieties of the drink.
Many people like the rum "Punta Cana". This is expensive. Considered to be an elite rum, aged ten years and even more expensive is "Ron Barcelo Imperial".
Especially for tourists, the Dominicans came up with the idea of selling rum in coconuts. They make a small hole in the coconut, pour out the natural contents and fill the walnut with pure rum. Once in the coconut, rum acquires a very pleasant sweetish taste and a unique flavor.
In addition, the Dominican Republic is very popular with a variety of liqueurs - fruit, cream, chocolate. You will find them in any souvenir shop or regular supermarket.
Read more: Dominican Larimar
Cocoa from the Dominican Republic is one of the main exports. Groves of cocoa trees are scattered all over the country. It is interesting to visit such a cocoa garden and learn that, in fact, the fruit of cocoa is similar to the average size of a melon and the cocoa we know is just fried seeds from this melon.
Here, cocoa is considered a product mostly for children but adults also drink it for pleasure and energy.
As a souvenir, you can buy ground cocoa in sealed jars. You can grind and mix it with cocoa butter and then roll it into balls. This is Cacao bola. Such balls are similar in taste to chocolate but you can also grate them to make a tasty, fortifying drink.
Coffee from the Dominican Republic is highly valued all over the world. Here the highest grade of coffee is grown - arabica, with a complex and very intense aroma, combining honey, chocolate, fruit and floral scents. Varieties of Monte Real and Santo Domingo have long been world-famous brands.
Santo Domingo is one of the most common and inexpensive coffee varieties in the Dominican Republic.
A grade of coffee more expensive and stronger is "Induban". Although there are many other varieties on sale, each is unique but always with a very pleasant taste.
Avoid the local instant coffee. The taste leaves much to be desired.
Dominican cigars are almost as popular as Cuban cigars. The quality of tobacco is the same as the islands are not far apart.
Every farm that grows tobacco can roll cigars on its own and they do. If you visit such home production, be sure to buy a few pieces even if you do not smoke. It will be pleasant to smell in the house with dry tobacco leaf and honey. Before the work starts, the sheets are sprinkled with various syrups - they add their pleasant smell.
In production, three local varieties of tobacco are used. If cigars are light and soft, Dominican "Olor Dominicano". For strong and fragrant - the Cuban variety "Piloto Cubano". Others - from the “San Vicente" variety. But the cover sheet for all cigars does not grow here .It has to be brought from Ecuador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, Indonesia and even from Cameroon.
The most famous brands of cigars are: Courvoisier, Antonio Fuente, La Aurora, Davidoff, Carbonell.
A high-quality full-length cigar which can hardly be placed in the mouth costs an average of 10-30 dollars. A box of small cigars - up to fifty dollars.
Read more: The top tour in the Dominican Republic
Cigars are expensive so we advise you not to buy them from street sellers. You may be buying a fake, twisted around the corner from the fallen palm leaves. It is better to make your purchases at duty-free, souvenir shops in hotels and large stores.