Soursop drink (Jamaica)

Jamaica is an island country on the Caribbean sea, a former colony of Spain and the UK and still a part of the British Commonwealth. It is perhaps best known for reggae, rastafarianism and Bob Marley, plus Jamaican rum. Several other music genres also originated in Jamaica, such as dub, dancehall and ska. Many kinds of sports are very popular in Jamaica, as well. Almost half of Jamaicans live outside of Jamaica due to large emigration. Only a small minority of Jamaicans are rastafaris. Jamaica has been called “the most homophobic country on Earth” due to violence against LGBTI people.

Jamaican food tends to be quite spicy and especially distinct is the spice blend called jerk spice. Another essential part is ackee fruit, related to lychee. Raw ackee and inedible parts of the fruit are toxic, however, and have caused many deaths. The flavour has been compared to cheese or eggs(!). Many other fruit are also enjoyed. Salted fish and rice and beans are also very popular. In general, rice, beans and plantains are used in many dishes, like elsewhere on the Caribbean. Jamaican patty is a savory pastry similar to empanadas. Common spices include allspice, thyme, annatto, black pepper, garlic, ginger and Scotch bonnet pepper, a fiery chili. For sweet drinks vanilla and nutmeg are common seasonings. Rastafaris are usually completely or mostly vegetarian and follow “Ital” lifestyle, which means eating pure natural foods, though its definition varies. Some don’t even eat salt.

Guanabana and the related cherimoya (annona) are among my favorite fruits. Cherimoya is sweeter and creamier, while guanabana is more tart, but not exactly sour as the other name soursop suggests. It is also known as graviola. The taste has been compared to pineapple, guava, strawberry and mango and I also think it has some similarity to orange. So even though I’ve recently made much more drinks for Vegventures, I had to make this drink. And it was heavenly! You can use whatever sweetener (not too strongly flavoured), I suffer from severe hypoglycemia so I used my trusty combination of erythritol and stevia.

Fresh soursop may be hard to find, but frozen stuff, which I used, is usually easy to source in Asian stores, the one I’ve brought in Finland and here is sold in a white plastic jar the size and shape of a soft drink can. Note that it’s not pureed smooth, you’ll probably want to blend it and strain out the fibers. If you can’t even find the frozen fruit, diluted and sweetened guanabana/soursop nectar should be fairly easy to find wherever exotic juices like mango and lychee are sold. E.g. the Maaza brand is very common and Asian stores have the juice in cans. In that case don’t add any water. However, I find the frozen stuff made for a much better juice.

Soursop drink

jamaica

1 ripe soursop fruit (or 1 can frozen) + 5 cups water
or 1.5 liters commercial guanabana/soursop juice
1 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
sugar/sweetener to taste (skip if using prediluted commercial juice)

Blend the fruit and water together. Strain if needed. Add all the other ingredients. Serve cold.


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