Guavaberry Made in Sint Maarten
This week I would like to introduce to you an alcoholic product of the Caribbean island of St Maarten (SXM).
St. Martin Island
Is a small island in the Caribbean located between Guadeloupe and Puerto Rico. It is divided between two states, France and the Netherlands. As an anecdote to the story is that the determination of the border between France and the Netherlands on this island was made by a race. Each one starting from one side of the island agreed that the border would be the meeting point…. and apparently the French ran faster (as the French part ended being larger than the other)
From a historical point of view prior to European settlement this small Caribbean island was inhabited by the Arawak Indians (Amerindians of the Antilles) and the Native American people of the Kalinago. This was people who established the first contact with Christopher Columbus in the Bahamas in 1492.
Columbus called the island “Saint Martin” in 1493 as he departed from this land on the day of the feast of St. Martin the Merciful.
The guavaberrie or Rumberry is a berry from the tree of the same name. It lies on the arc of the Caribbean. The name “Guavaberry” has its origins in the name given to the fruit by Native Americans present on the island before the arrival of settlers. In the USA this tree is called “Rumberry.“
This fruit comes from a flower with a white/pink. To begin the fruits are pale green (like a lime before it is ripe). When the berries ripen they do not get all the same color, some will become orange and other dark red or black.
The Guavaberrie tree is a direct cousin of the clove and eucalyptus. Because of the way it grows, harvest its berries is laborious.
Fruit flesh offer fine, scarce. They also contain a large enough core.
The Guavaberry is the base of brown rum aged in oak barrels, sugar cane and berries harvested guavaberries the central hills of the island. The fruit is easily cultivable there is no product that is derived from the product guavaberrie scale. Currently the liquor is produced from wild fruit picked up manually.
From the late 17th to the early 20th century, this liqueur was known as “THE” Christmas drink on the island of Saint Martin. Each family use to make this drink itself for its own consumption. Moreover as an integral part of the local culture, the Guavaberry is mentioned in some stories and folk songs of the island.
When you taste it, the alcohol reveals a woody taste (from the oak), fruity, spicy at the same time. Accompanied by a soft bitterness of its own.
For the anecdote, late 18th, early 19th century wine was produced from Guavaberrie in the Virgin Islands that at the time were Danish.
Some ideas cocktail (it can also be drunk as pure rum):
- Guavaberry Colada: Guavaberry liqueur 6 cl, 3 cl of cream of coconut, pineapple juice 9cl. Garnish with pineapple, powdered toasted coconut or just a slice of papaya and cinnamon powder.
- Guavaberry Banada: 6 cl Guavaberry, 3 cl coconut cream; 9 cl pineapple juice and pieces, chopped ½ banana, ice
- Guavaberry Royale: Guavaberry 3 cl, 15 cl Champagne, ice. (For decorating a pineapple stuck with a candied cherry)
- Guavaberry Margarita: Guavaberry liqueur 3 cl, 3 cl Tequila, lemon juice 3cl
- Guavaberry Sunrise: 6cl Guavaberry liqueur, 6 cl of grapefruit juice 6 cl orange juice 2 cl Grenadine
- Guavaberry Runner: 3 cl Guavaberry, 0.5 cl Brandy 0.5 cl blackberry liqueur, 1 cl crème de banana 4 cl orange juice 4 cl pineapple juice, Grenadine 0.5 cl ; ice.
- Guavaberry Sunset: Guavaberry 6 cl, 15 cl of grapefruit juice 2 cl grenadine
- Guavaberry Kir: 3 cl Guavaberry; 9cl white wine
- The Smartini: 4.5 cl Vodka 1.5 cl Guavaberry 3 cl cranberry juice. For decoration put in the cocktail cherries with several colors.
Some recipes that would be perfect to accompany this drinks:
Jonathan Choukroun Chicheportiche
Sint Maarten Guavaberry
Sint Maarten Guavaberry Company N.V.
No. 8-10 Frontstreet, Philipsburg
Sint Maarten, Dutch Caribbean (Dutch)