Pronunciation: [ah-gwahr-dee-EN-tay; ah-gwahr-dee-EN-tay day KAH-nyah]
Spanish for "burned water" (akin to North America's fire water), aguardiente is a generic term for any of several potent, low quality spirits. In Spain, the term refers to a brandy-based potable made from marc. The South American aguardiente de caña is a coarse liquor based on sugar cane and sometimes flavored with anise seed. See also cachaça.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.