Guarapo de Jagua is a genipa, huito, or jagua fruit fermented beverage, one of the most cooling traditional Dominican drinks, and a great alternative to soft drinks. Let me teach you how to make this refreshing 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.
But first, let's talk about these two unusual words.
What is guarapo?
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 huito or genipa?
Genipa americana, or jagua, as we Dominicans call it (2), is a fruit-bearing tree native to the American continent. It is also known as genipa, marmalade box, genipapo, and huito.
Jagua originated in South America, around what is now Peru and Brazil. It was used by the area indigenous tribes as food but also to produce a vegetable ink or dye (like black henna). Indigenous people used it in temporary tattoos and body art in ceremonies and celebrations.
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 natural juice goes through some light fermentation, just enough to make it slightly bubbly. However, it doesn't have a long shelf life, even with refrigeration. I don't suggest drinking it after a week.
Be mindful that fermentation produces alcohol, in this case, it is just traces of alcohol, and it's safe to serve to children.
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 [Video-Recipe] 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 to 48 hours, in a place where it's not cold, and there isn't too much light.After 24 hours have passed, and there is a foamy layer on top, 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.