The many different types of Jamaican Drinks available today on the open market makes it nearly impossible to narrow down any one drink that will make you an expert Jamaican- style drink maker.
In recent years, I have seen some of the most creative concoctions that were also touted as health drinks, energy giver, front-end-lifter, put it back, bedroom bully, etc. etc. etc.
Although some of these new drinks have been talked about as being good to the last drop, I think it is the taste that makes a drink becomes famous or infamous. Lets take a look at the old time drinks;
All these drinks are made with the most common sweetener on the Island… Brown Sugar. And because brown sugar tastes so good, few people have changed their choice of sweetener.
But you can use other sweeteners in your drink as well, such as, honey, or cane juice.
The new drinks, while having sugar as their base sweetener, are varied in their taste. Because of the health conscious craze, more people have found alternatives to using the usual ingredients used in making Jamaican Drinks these days.
And these days you find many Jamaican restaurants serve Carrot Juice with Soya milk instead of the traditional sweetened condensed milk, or replace the milk with lime or lemon juice. It does not matter which type of Carrot Juice you like. If it tastes good, drink to your health.
Canned and bottled beverages have been part of our drinking culture as well. Some companies such as, Grace, J Wray & Nephew, Guinness, Heineken, and Desnoes & Geddes have provided us the convenience of having some of our favorite drinks in a bottle or can.
Grace is the company that’s credited as the old time canned food innovator when it comes to Jamaican Drinks. The other companies mentioned above are responsible for the beverages that help to make the new concoctions that are touted with much vigor and hoopla so popular.
Some of these same drinks are nothing more that an extension of the old drinks with a few more added ingredients. Specifically, the not so traditional Stout Punch.
Out of this drink came certain combinations that are just variations on a theme. Essentially, you have the stout, milk, and egg-whites blended together and then you can add your other ingredients of choice.
Well Culture Juice did not make it to every dinner table on Sundays, even though it had the usual base like Stout Punch. This blend was just traditional Carrot Juice and Stout Punch combined…that’s it.
Mind you, Culture Juice is not completely removed from the Jamaican drinks roster, but the other “stacked combination drinks” have made it a mere second choice. It has been upstaged by Front-end-lifter, Body and Soul, Stallion Punch and many others.
These are some of the few Jamaican drinks left with the great responsibility of “putting it back.”
On the light side of things, there are Jamaican drinks that have no particular “put it back” value. These drinks are easily made and enjoyed by everyone, just for fun. Apart from sodas, other home-made sweet drinks are quite common. Yah Mon!!!
Shandy, the Beer and Soda combination is usually enjoyed by women and young adults, i.e.; 12oz bottle of beer and 12 oz Kola Champagne Soda mixed together with crushed ice.
Pink Cow is made by adding 1 part of Jamaican Strawberry Syrup to 8 parts of milk in a drinking glass. Mix together. Children like this drink.
Pineapple Drink is made with the removed pineapple skin boiled in water for about half an hour, and then sweetened with sugar. Add crushed ice to cool.
You can also use this method: Bring the water to a boil, pour it on the Pineapple skin and let it steep overnight. Sweetened to taste with sugar.
Fruit Punch is made with 2 oz. Jamaican Strawberry Syrup, ½ banana, 1 slice pineapple, 2 oz. orange juice, ½ oz grapefruit juice, 1 tbsp. grape juice, crushed ice, and 12 oz. water. Mix in a blender together. (More strawberry syrup can be added if necessary)
1 Guinness Stout (12 oz.)
2 cups Rum Raisin Ice Cream
1 Egg or Egg White
2 tbsp. Sugar
¼ cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp. Grated Nutmeg
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup Crushed Ice
Add egg, sweetened condensed milk, and sugar to an Electric Blender. Turn selector to whip for two minutes, and then stop.
Add ice cream, and then turn the selector to puree for a minute. Now add ½ bottle of the stout to the mixture, allow the froth to set a little.
Turn the selector to puree for a minute. Add the rest of the stout and vanilla. Puree again… then taste the “blem.” If it’s not sweet enough add more sweetened condensed milk to taste.
When you get the right taste, add the crushed ice to the mix and turn selector to whip for two minutes.
Serve in small glasses and sprinkle nutmeg on each drink.
Add Carrot Juice to this mix and you get Culture Juice.
You may want to reduce the amount of ice cream in this drink before you do this combination.
Jamaica Rum Punch
3 oz. Jamaican White Rum
1 oz. Lime Juice
1 oz. Sugar
4 oz. Water
4 Pimento (Allspice) Berries
1 oz. Jamaican Strawberry Syrup
Mix lime juice, strawberry syrup, sugar, and water together until sugar is dissolved. Then pour rum into the mixture while mixing. Add pimento berries. Serve over cracked ice.
Option: You can make a larger quantity of this drink using the above ratio. You can also make this drink a week before you intend to serve your guests. Just make sure you store it in a very dark place in glass bottles.
The truth about Jamaican Drinks is if it taste the way you like it, then have it your way.
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