The national drink of St. Maarten is Guava berry liqueur.
Guava berry is a shrub or slender tree reaching 33-55 feet in height and annually bearing a small yellow – orange to dark red (almost black) berry fruit. The tree grows best in low- lying valleys of moderate temperature and can be found in the Bellevue, Columbier and Rambaud areas of French St. Martin. St. Maarteners have traditionally stewed the aromatic Guava berry for use in jams and pies or steeped it with rum and spices to make a very distinctive, bittersweet liqueur. The liqueur is a traditional Christmas drink. It is served to guests in a liqueur glass or a shot glass. It’s quite strong so you sip it.
Herbal Tea (Bush Tea)
Many leaves of plants and different bushes in St. Maarten (and throughout the Caribbean) can be used to make tea. Locally called bush tea. The leaves have a very aromatic flavor and some have medicinal properties. Below are a few bushes that can be used for tea.
- Sour sop
- Lemon Grass
- Sweet basil
Ginger root is used for a variety of purposes as a delicacy, medicine or spice.
It can also be used to make a Ginger Beer. First start by peeling the skin of the root. Then grate the root and add boiled water. Then let it rest for a few days to build up flavor. The longer you leave it to rest the stronger it gets. Add some lemon or sugar according to taste.