Drinks and Desserts
Mauby is a bitter but refreshing drink made by boiling the bark of the mauby tree with vanilla essence and spices. Lemonade is fresh lime juice, Bajan brown sugar and water. Coconut water is the almost clear liquid that comes from fresh green coconuts. Other unusual local juices include tamarind, golden apple, passion fruit, Bajan cherry, mango, guava and soursop punch. Sorrel is a refreshing but tart crimson drink made from the sorrel plant, cinnamon and cloves. It is usually served iced, at Christmas time, and Bajans look forward to it all year. Another iced favourite, is the snow-cone sold by peddlers (and by that we literally mean vendors on cart-topped bicycles) - shaved ice in a small cup, filled with sugar syrup in an assortment of colours and flavours. The best way to drink it is with condensed milk added on top (though you'll have to pay a little extra for it). Delish! Locally brewed Banks beer is the drink of choice at many occasions, while rum is used on its own and as the base in numerous cocktails, desserts and local food recipes.
Bajans have quite a sweet tooth and a meal is not complete without dessert. Some people go the healthy route and opt for a plate of fresh local fruit, but the most common traditional Bajan dessert is coconut bread. Then there's cassava pone and bread pudding with brandy sauce. For fancier occasions, lemon meringue pie, cheesecake, chocolate icebox pudding, good old chocolate cake and icecream or Bajan custard are some of the local favourites. Around Independence Day celebrations (November) and into Christmas time, everyone eats conkies which is a beautiful dessert made from pumpkin, sweet potato, coconut and spices and wrapped in banana leaves. Local candies include guava cheese, tamarind balls, peanut brittle, and chocolate fudge.