Photo providedOn the Caribbean isle of St. Martin/Sint Maarten, the indigenous guavaberry that centuries ago was turned into liquor by the Amer-Indian people is today distilled into a unique "folk liqueur."
• Wild Sint Maarten Guaveberry Liqueur:
Despite the name, the guavaberry (GWAH-va-BER-ry) has nothing to do with the guava fruit. The liqueur is made from oak-aged rum, cane sugar and the berries that grow wild in the warm hills in the center of the island on trees that are in the same family as the clove and eucalyptus. The fragile berries are difficult to cultivate and harvest.
My first experience with guavaberry liqueur was a colada served in a Philipsburg hotel bar on the Dutch side of the island (Sint Maarten; St. Martin is the French side). It's a deceptively smooth drink, reminiscent of blackberries and dark cherries, sweet but not overly so, thanks to the slightly woody, fruity, spicy taste of the liquor.
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