Guarapo de Jagua is a fermented beverage, one of the most refreshing traditional Dominican drinks, and a great alternative to soft drinks. Let me teach you how to make this little-known treasure of our traditional Dominican cuisine.
Why we ❤️ it
Guarapo de Jagua is one of those “obscure Dominican gastronomic secrets” that we mention so much in our blog. One of those recipes that sometimes we ask ourselves why even bother writing it. But those are actually our favorite to write about, after all, you come here to learn with us.
We love this fermented Dominican drink because this is one of the most refreshing drinks that our cuisine has to offer, and it is a great summer alternative to soft drinks. It's also a vegan recipe.
But first, let's talk about these two unusual words.
What is guarapo?
Guarapo is sugarcane juice, or the fermented juice obtained from it (1). In the Dom. Rep., Guarapo is also used to describe some fermented fruit juices.
The most common is Pineapple Guarapo, which is made with the rind and core of this fruit. The second most common is this guarapo de jagua.
What is jagua or genipa?
Genipa americana, or jagua, as we Dominicans call it (2), is a fruit-bearing tree native to the American continent. Also known as genipa, marmalade box, genipapo, and huito.
Its fruit is used to make ice cream, marmalade, and in the Dominican Republic, to make a fermented drink.
Jagua or genipa and guarapo de jagua.
This drink is made with light fermentation, just enough to make it slightly bubbly, however, it doesn't have a long shelf life, even refrigerated. I wouldn't feel safe drinking it after a week.
About this recipe
There is not much to say about this recipe, it is super simple, and requires very few ingredients. I have simply followed the steps I saw my mother follow when she was making this guarapo (which she did frequently).
If you know of another way to prepare this drink, we would love to hear it.
Check out our other Dominican fermented drinks recipes, you'll surely love them.
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Guarapo de Jagua (Genipa Fermented Drink)
- 4 jaguas, genipas
- 1 quart potable water, 1 liter
- 1 cup sugar (white, granulated), or sweetener of your choice
- 2 cup ice
- Wash the jaguas, then cut into small pieces. Place in a container with a lid with a capacity of 2.5 liters (1 gallon). Add the water. Cover with a piece of cloth or a clean kitchen towel (no lid).
- Leave it on the kitchen counter for 24 hours, in a place where it's not cold, and there isn't too much light.
- After 24 hours have passed, remove the cloth, and close with the lid. Move to the fridge for the next 4 days. By then tiny bubbles should have formed in the liquid.
- Strain and add sugar to taste. Serve with ice.
- You can reuse the jagua by refilling again and letting it rest in the fridge for 5 more days. It's good just for one more time, after that, throw them away.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
- Real Academia de la Lengua Española (RAE)
- Catálogo virtual de la flora, Universidad EIA
- Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (Mex.)
- Fermenting for Foodies - Shelf Life of Fermented Foods