Saturday, December 29, 2012

Caribbean Guavaberry Liqueur

Guavaberry is a traditional holiday drink on several Caribbean islands including St Maarten/St Martin, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For centuries people in the Caribbean have made guavaberry liqueurs from a combination of guavaberries, rum, and sugar cane. Aside from liqueur, guavaberries are used to make jams, juice, tarts and cakes

Guavaberries are a close relative to the clove and eucalyptus plants, and the trees grow wild in the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America. 

The berries are referred to as mirto or murta in Puerto Rico, cherry-cherry or coconut carette in Guadeloupe and Martinique, and even rumberries in other parts of the Caribbean. 

The two nation island of Dutch St Maarten and French St Martin both consider guavabeery a traditional drink - especially during the holidays. The liquor is made from generations old recipes consisting of aged rum, brown sugar and wild guavaberries. 

Harvesting the berries is not an easy task as the trees grow  best in hilly and rocky terrain. 

 The berries are about the size of blueberries, and are picked  when the color is either orange/yellow or dark burgundy. 

The St Maarten Guavaberry Company is the main producer of guavaberry liqueur, and their in the capital Phillipsburg offers free liquor samples. This popular tourist spot also sells barbeque sauces, jams, guavaberry honey, and similar items.

In the Virgin Islands, A. Nibbs Sons & Daughters make their own family tradition brand. In the Dominican Republic locals make their own homemade liquor by filling jars with guavaberries, adding rum and burying the jar for a year. On the island of Cuba the berries are used as herbal health drink, and locals eat them plain, along with making syrups and juices. 

Because of its sweet taste, Guavaberry liquor is used in many cocktails, and also adds a unique flavor to deserts and sauces. I especially like to use the liquor syrup on vanilla ice cream. Yesterday I used the last of the syrup I purchased in St Maarten, and will have to stock up on my next visit. 

St Maarten has the best selection of Guavaberry Products - on your next visit make sure to include a stop at the St Maarten Guavaberry Company and enjoy a very unique taste of the islands. Visit the online site - the company is unable to ship liquor to the U.S. , however you can have the sauces, jams and honey shipped.

Happy Holidays & Safe Travels,


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