Here are the notes I took on pressing sugar cane:
We also had the opportunity to press some sugar cane on the “cachete”, or sugar cane press. The sugar cane here is a robust plant! The stalks grow very large and thick. Sugar can juice is obtained by pressing the stalks and it is primarily used to make sugar cane rum, or as a sugar cane drink (non-fermented for children) as a delivery agent for medicines, and the stalks are chewed on as candy by the village children.
Basically you squeeze the cane on a wooden press with a long flattened stick. The juice is collected in a bucket and fermented for about 8 days. The pot or container must be sealed on top while the juice ferments. The sugar cane is then distilled in a process similar to the process of making whiskey. As it is distilled it is heated and the degrees centigrade, 10, 14, etc. will tell you the strength of the rum; the higher the degrees the stronger the rum.