LEOGANE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti's most famous export is Barbancourt, a delicately flavored, carefully aged rum that's considered among the best in the world. Then there's its rustic cousin clairin, a drink that's much cheaper and relatively rare outside this struggling Caribbean country.

Clairin, or kleren as it's known in Haitian Creole, is less refined than rum and typically not aged, though some artisanal varieties are subjected to an aging process to give them a more mellow and distinctive flavor. It's produced at hundreds of small distilleries scattered across Haiti.

In this June 16, 2017 photo, workers pass banana trees as they walk through a field of bagasse, the sugar cane fiber left over after its juice is extracted, on a farm where they work at the Ti Jean distillery to make clairin, a sugar-based alcoholic drink, in Leogane, Haiti. Workers live rent-free in a village on the farm but pay for their own food on a salary of 800 gourds, or $12.50 dollars for each truck they load with cut sugar cane. Workers say they're able to fill one truck in two days. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

At one of them, Ti Jean, in the coastal town of Leogane west of the capital, men with their heads covered to ward off the tropical sun use machetes to cut down the towering sugar cane stalks that surround the distillery.

They feed the cane into a grinder to produce the juice that is the raw material of both clairin and the type of rum associated with the French Caribbean. Most rum produced elsewhere is made from molasses.

The juice that flows out the other side is a murky caramel color, though the finished product will be as clear as vodka.

In this June 16, 2017 photo, Batel Delciner, 23, removes wood from a furnace to lower the heat cooking sugar juice at the Ti Jean distillery, which produces clairin, a sugar-based alcoholic drink, in Leogane, Haiti. The broth is cooked for about four hours after a fermentation period of four to eight days. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

The clairin is fermented and filtered and then shipped in plastic jugs for sale in market stalls and by street merchants. Individual retailers add flavors with herbs or fruit.

In Port-au-Prince, vendor Eddy Lecty adds cloves to spice up the clairin he sells in the capital's Cite Soleil slum. He and his father have been selling the drink for almost 20 years at the same sidewalk spot, which has become a meeting place locals call "The Citizens Club." He says even Haitian presidents have stopped by.

Lecty and other vendors put the clairin into reused whiskey, vodka and soft drink bottles.

Eddy Lecty shakes a bottle of clairin, a sugar-based alcoholic drink, after adding clove spice to it, as his father Wilfrid Yves Nader smokes nearby and they wait for customers in the Cite Soleil area in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. The father-son business has been selling different flavors of clairin at this spot for almost 20 years, which has turned into a meeting place locals coined The Citizens Club. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

In Haiti, like in other countries where unregulated liquor production flourishes, there have been unscrupulous producers who spiked their spirits with methanol, which can be deadly.

Ti Jean owner Jeanty Bonnefois says his workers make sure they remove the toxic methanol byproduct that occurs during distillation, and his clairin has a good reputation among local consumers.

A liter of clairin sells for about $1.36, one-eighth the price of the least expensive bottle of Barbancourt. That price tag makes all the difference in a country where about 60 percent of the people get by on less than $2 a day.

In this June 16, 2017 photo, workers measure the level of alcohol before watering down a sugar-based drink known as clairin to bring it to 45 or 50 percent alcohol content, at the Ti Jean distillery in Leogane, Haiti. Clairin, or kleren as it's known in Haitian Creole, is the rustic cousin of Haiti's most famous export: Barbancourt rum. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)