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St. Maarten's Guavaberry Liqueur

Guavaberry St. Maarten


On Front Street in the heart of the Dutch St. Maarten capital of Philipsburg is the Guavaberry Emporium. Guavaberry is the legendary St. Maarten folk liqueur and is made behind the Emporium, the front of the Emporium being used to display and taste the finished brew. This old cedar house was built on the site of an 18th century Jewish synagogue and for many years was the famous West Indian Tavern. The island’s Guavaberry Colada cocktail was invented here and free tastings are offered every day.

Now here’s something that only those who live here would generally be privileged to. Native St. Maartener’s often brew their own Guavaberry Wine and, in many cases, keep a bottle or bottles of it in stashed in some closet or other. I having lived on St. Maarten for over 26 years and being friendly with many local St. Maartener’s as a result, has had the opportunity on many occasions to partake of this homemade brew which is incredibly stronger than the store-bought version. The store-bought is wonderful but if you want to get thoroughly “blatzed”, have some of the homemade.

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