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Jamaican Guava Drink...Sweeter that Sweet #019
October 30, 2005

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Jamaican Guava Drink

I was in my little hometown of Sydenham earlier this month to attend my cousin’s funeral. Yes it was a sad occasion, but I dear say that I was happy to see old friends and relatives who I had lost touch with for awhile. And even though the loss of a loved one dampers one’s spirit, the people who are left behind to remember the deceased have a way of making things easier to live with, as in my case.

Our end of life ritual is special to us and most peculiar to onlookers and non-Jamaicans, too. We do not bury anyone before nine days have passed, and we also mourn for eight consecutive days immediately after the person is deceased…this mourning period is called setup.

Traditionally we serve bread, coffee, and Jamaican white rum to the mourners who support the family during those eight days, or nights rather.

Well I was surprised this time by the way the Jamaican nine-night culture has changed to a secular undertaking with beer drinking, dancing, and merry-making. Because of that, the nine night observance was split in two, one for the young people, and the other for the older traditionalist folks like me.

My cousin Sonia made a Guava/Fruit Punch drink for the older folks that really tastes good. Not a traditional nine-night drink but who cares, the nine night tradition seems to be out the window these days and is replaced by an anything-goes party.

But anyway, I tasted this drink and I said I have to pass this on because a drink like this should not be kept a secret. She cheated a little on the mixture but what the heck…it still tastes good.

Guava/Fruit Punch

6 Ripened Guavas

4 oz. Water

1 gallon Fruit Punch (commercial off the shelf)

1 tbsp. Ground Ginger

Wash guavas, peel them and then cut up into small pieces. Add the guava pieces and ginger to the four ounces of water in an electric blender. Turn the switch to puree and wait until the ingredients are blended smooth. Repeat this process until the guavas are finished.

Strain the guava solution through a strainer to remove the seeds. Now add the guava juice to the fruit punch and mix them together. Serve on cracked ice in drinking glasses. When I ask Sonia about this drink, she said I could add more ingredients to it such as lemon and or strawberry syrup…mmm. In other words be creative.

Yah Mon!

Uncle Zack

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