I was just introduced to a traditional island Christmas drink....Guavaberry. It's made from the guava fruit, add some rum, cloves, plus other secret ingredients and you have a yummy berry
Merry Christmas everyone!!!!
Taken from Virgin Islands This week:
The late, famous Virgin Islands composer, Bill La Motta, wrote this tune, known as the Guavaberry Song. According to the book, Virgin Islands Folk Songs, this song remains the most celebrated and cherished of the traditional holiday tunes because of the cultural importance attached to guavaberry liqueur. Hear it once, and the lilting melody and easily memorized words will play over and over in your mind. A little bigger than a blueberry, but perfectly round, guavaberries have grown scarcer to find – and more coveted – in recent years. Unlike other berries, this first cousin of the clove and eucalyptus grows wild on trees and is most commonly found in the cool, lush hilly areas of St. Thomas’ west side and the Bordeaux Mountain area of St. John. The individual fruit tends to ripen at different rates so islanders will gather small quantity at a time and then freeze the fruit until it’s ready for baking and beverage making.
The recipe for making guavaberry rum is often a family secret passed down through generations. Ingredients include a mix of strong rum, sugar, flavorings like essences, citrus peel and spices, and of course, mashed guavaberries. This mixture is allowed to steep for several weeks until the flavors blend. The best guavaberry rums are those made from a small “seed” portion of this potent liqueur, carefully saved from the previous year. Some rum recipes are literally decades old. Island cooks also process guavaberries into jams, breads, cakes and especially tarts, at Christmastime.
“Good mornin’, good mornin’, ah come fo’ mi Guavaberry.”