Laghidze Waters – Man behind magical Georgian drinks
28 March, 2016
Laghidze Waters – Man behind magical Georgian drinks
Perhaps if you have visited Georgian restaurants or tasted famous cheese pie khachapuri, you would have been probably offered famous Laghidze Waters that perfectly go well with this delicious Georgian staple. The flavors of the lemonade range from estragon to berries, chocolate and even heavy cream allowing anyone to select the one that fits his/her taste. So if you wonder why these magical colorful beverages are called Laghidze and what makes them so special, then you must definitely continue reading our story.
Mitropane Laghidze born in 1864 was a Georgian entrepreneur and pharmacist, who at the age of 14 started working as an assistant at a local drugstore in Kutaisi. He also worked at lemonade factory, where he learned the technology of producing various juices from different fruits. In 1900 Laghidze opened his own factory where he produced a large variety of natural syrups. What made his drinks so special is that for the first time instead of importing foreign fruit essences, he used 100 percent natural syrups made with local products based on his incredible recipes. The secret of these delicious waters laid in the pharmacist’s secret method of selecting fruits in particular regions of Georgia at particular time. For instance, he produced raspberry syrup only from the berries that grew in Borjomi region of Georgia. In 1902 he traveled to Germany and France where he got acquainted with the technology of creating fruit drinks that he later used in his business.

According to the current deputy director of Laghidze Waters Nana Chakhaia, in 1905 Laghidze opened a small factory of nonalcoholic drinks on Golovin Avenue (now Rustaveli Avenue) in Tbilisi following the advice of outstanding Georgian public figures, Ilia Chavchavadze and Akaki Tsereteli. Later in 1906 he also opened a shop under the name “Laghidze Waters” that soon became the favorite gathering place for the locals.
Soon Laghidze’s magical drinks earned him international fame and recognition. His beverages were granted gold medals as the most distinguished drinks both in Saint Petersburg and Vienna. It is noteworthy that Laghidze Waters have been exported to many countries and their creator was invited to Ukraine, Iran and Egypt several times to introduce them to his technology and open factories. Besides his business activity, Mitropane was a great philanthropist whose contribution is significant to Georgian society.
He was the member of the Society for the Spreading of Literacy as well as Dramatic Society; he greatly supported Georgian writers and public figures.

He had close relationship with renowned Georgian public figures and writers: Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli, poet Titsian Tabidze and many others. In 1898 he published Ilia’s famous poem The Ghost as well as the works of other Georgian writers. Many good deeds are connected to his name. It should be mentioned that during the funeral of yet another important public figure and businessman Davit Sarajishvili who established classic cognac production in Georgia, people were offered cold Laghidze Waters for free in every 200 meters starting from Sioni Cathedral to Didube pantheon, under Mitropane Laghidze’s order.
As it is said, this is how Laghidze expressed his gratitude to this great person who financed him and helped to open Laghidze lemonades’ shop in Tbilisi. Laghidze Waters, notable for their natural fruit taste and aroma are exported to many countries even today. So once you have a chance to sample it together with Georgian khachapuri, don’t hesitate.

By Lika Chigladze
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