Category Archive | “Drinks”

Jackfruit Smoothie.

Jackfruit Smoothie.

As we continue with this week of smoothies, it's time to use a very common but ignored Caribbean (tropical) fruit, Jackfruit. A sweet (like refined sugar) tasting fruit, with a sort of custard-like texture, but the scent can be a bit overpowering when it's fully ripe. We had just driven through Fern Gully, Jamaica and had stopped for 'refreshments' at a road-side bar, when I gazed on a Jackfruit tree on the side of the building laden with some of the largest fruits I've ever seen. It's funny how whenever I think about Jackfuit, it takes me back to that Jamaican trip and the roadside bar where I enjoyed some of the most refreshing Guinness I've ever had.

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Simple Energizing Green Smoothie.

Simple Energizing Green Smoothie.

When I was a kid on the islands smoothies wasn't a 'thing", however we did have 'punches'! With milk (in most cases) as it's base, they included many of the exotic tropical fruits we are blessed with in the Caribbean. Today you can still see many punch vendors (known as the "punch-man") in all the major cities and towns, but smoothies are just as common and many people include them as part of their daily breakfast or workout regime.

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Festive Champagne Sorrel Drink Recipe.

Festive Champagne Sorrel Drink Recipe.

Sorrel and homemade ginger-beer are two drinks you're guaranteed to find being enjoyed in just about every Caribbean home you visit during the Christmas season. Even after we moved to Canada, it was our yearly tradition to source out a grocery store which stocked the dried petals of sorrel or have relatives who would be visiting stock their suitcases with a package or two on their way up. The odd time we could get the fresh flowers, it was a welcomed bonus (like finding buried treasure). It's funny how after so many years of using the dried stuff, you almost prefer it to the fresh ones now.

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Refreshing Mango Raspberry Smoothie.

Refreshing Mango Raspberry Smoothie.

Though not necessarily a "Caribbean" thing when I was a young fella' on the islands, smoothies are making it's way across the island chain as more and more people are looking for healthy ways to start their day, especially with the abundance of fresh tropical fruits we have available to us. Back then, you'd quicker find freshly made juices and punches with the same fruits, so I must confess that I'm not a huge fan of smoothies (it just wasn't part of my diet). This mango raspberry smoothie only takes a couple minutes to make, quite refreshing and a wonderful meal in a glass.

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How To Make Papaya Punch [lactose friendly | dairy free] .

How To Make Papaya Punch [lactose friendly | dairy free] .

We always seemed to have had Papaya (say paw paw or paw poi in Trinidad and Tobago) trees in our yard as kids growing up on the islands, so this punch (or call it a smoothie) as well as ice cream was always in the fridge. I still recall getting in trouble with my dad for cutting the leaves (with long stems) off the tree as we would make a sort of cave-man flute or whistle with it. In the process of breaking the leaves off, my brother and I would knock the baby Papaya off the tree and the odd time we would even knock off the more mature fruits.. yea, we didn't care as all we wanted were the stems/leaves.

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Lemongrass Tea (fever grass tea in the Caribbean).

Lemongrass Tea (fever grass tea in the Caribbean).

I still recall mom always asking me to go get a piece of fever grass (lemon grass) from the old wash-tub she converted into a gardening pot, where we had a huge patch of lemon grass growing for as long as I could remember. In the dry season they would dry-down with a mound of dirt where the roots were , but with the first drizzle of the rainy season they would be back with vigorous life. It was my job whenever someone had the onset of a fever (high temperature) to go harvest the 'fever grass' so mom could make a pot of tea. Yes, lemongrass tea is used as a remedy for fevers in most of the Caribbean... and it works.

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Sorrel Cranberry Rum Punch Recipe.

Sorrel Cranberry Rum Punch Recipe.

Bring drinks! The holiday season in the Caribbean is all about music, food, family and drinks. Not in that order but you get the picture - fun and merriment! As a kid I looked forward to a chilled glass of sorrel, made from the fresh harvested petals of the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant which we usually had planted in our kitchen garden. Living in North America means that sourcing fresh sorrel is almost impossible and when you can, it's insanely expensive. However we're very lucky in Southern Ontario to have well stocked stores with the dried sorrel petals. Personally I much prefer using the dried stuff now.

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Refreshing Tamarind Juice.

Refreshing Tamarind Juice.

As a child of the Caribbean, fruit juices was my thing. We always had a jug of passion fruit, sour sop, barbadine, freshly squeezed orange or other citrus fruit juices in our fridge. Since I don’t do the sugar thing any longer…but oh how I crave those juices I grew up on. I still have a weakness […]

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Classic Caribbean Banana Punch (banana smoothie).

Classic Caribbean Banana Punch (banana smoothie).

What’s a month of grilling without a refreshing dessert in a glass? There’s no better way to start (or finish) the day on those hot summer days, than a refreshing glass of banana punch. I guess for most people outside the Caribbean this would be called a ‘shake’ or smoothie, but as with all thick […]

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Traditional Caribbean Sorrel Drink.

Traditional Caribbean Sorrel Drink.

If there’s one drink in the Caribbean which screams “Christmas” it would definitely have to be sorrel. From Trinidad and Tobago in the south (include Guyana in mainland South America) to Jamaica in the north, as you make you way up the island chain… islanders all appreciate a cold glass of sorrel on those hot […]

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