Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine January 2020 - Page 206

Home of St. Maarten’s National Drink, and more . . . by Riselle Celestina “Good mornin’, good mornin’, ah come fo’ mi Guavaberry “ S o goes the Guavaberry song which, according to Caribbean history, is the song carolers used to sing back in the day, with the hope of getting a little sip of Guavaberry rum from the host of the house. As for me, I first was introduced to this drink, when my now husband invited me to my first real St. Maarten Christmas. I sipped on this potent rum drink, which apparently you sip, not drink, and ate my piece of coconut tart, thinking how different this Christmas tradition was from my native Curaçao. Sure, I was familiar with the tradition of drinking rum at Christmas, but this dark colored rum was so different than anything I’ve had before. It’s fruity, spicy, bitter, yet sweet. I was immediately a fan. and in one small village in the Dominican Republic called San Pedro de Macoris. The popular Dominican singer, Juan Luis Guerra even wrote a song about sipping Guavaberry while watching the sun go down. And, and who wouldn’t want to be doing exactly that on some tropical island? A brief history The Guavaberry fruit, while not a berry that can be enjoyed on its own, is amazingly delicious when soaked in rum. The bright orange and dark red, almost black berries are unique and quite bitter on their own. The Guavaberry Rum takes up center stage in Christmas traditions in my home island of Sint Maarten/St Martin. It is also an olde tyme tradition in the British and US Virgin Islands