Good Old Fashioned Bajan Mauby Drink

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Mauby is a bitter-sweet, cold beverage found throughout the Caribbean, made from boiling the bark of the tree bearing the same name (colubrina elliptica) and flavoring the resulting bitter liquid with a variety of spices and brown sugar. Though every island has it's "perfect" blend, the truth is that it is an acquired taste - you either love Mauby or you hate it, there are no in betweens.

If I had to describe the flavor, I would say it is very close to the Sweet Tea that's famous in the Southern USA, but then again that depends on which island recipe you're using. Apart from having a strong bitter after taste, an ice cold glass of Mauby can quench thirst like no other! Many claim that is also good for lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol and fighting against diabetes. Either way it's a drink that you should try next time you visit the Caribbean.

As Mauby is quite popular on many of these islands, you can find it readily available in syrup form, where you just add water or bottled and ready to drink. Some islands even make it into a carbonated beverage, which I am still quite skeptical about.

Three or four months ago I came to the realization that I had been drinking Mauby made from bottled syrup (Sweet & Dandy brand to be exact) for longer than I care to admit. I wondered if I could go back to the authentic old-fashioned Mauby my mom used to make.

With this mission in mind, I went to the store to buy some Mauby bark, Cinnamon sticks, Brown Sugar etc. After weeks of staring at the ingredients in the pantry, I finally set out to make my first batch of the beverage. I thought my first attempt would have been a complete fail but it was right on! So here's the tried and true recipe. Enjoy!

Old Fashioned Bajan Mauby Drink
3/4 cup Cinnamon infused Mauby bitters (1/2 pk mauby bark 2 large cinnamon sticks, water for boiling)
2 cups brown sugar
4 dashes Angostura Bitters
4 tbsp Vanilla Essence
2 tbsp Mixed Essence
Dash of cinnamon
2 Litres Water

1. To make cinnamon infused mauby bitters, boil half pack of mauby bark with 2 large cinnamon sticks for about 15 minutes. Be careful to watch as it will foam and boil over, lower heat.)
2. Measure 3/4 cup of bitters and pour into a large pitcher.
3. Add brown sugar, Angostura bitters, essence and cinnamon. Stir mixture to dissolve some of the crystals.
4. Add water and stir well.
5. Serve chilled or with ice. 


Chennette said...

i been so used to syrup too!
I have found differences between the Bajan, Trini and Guyanese mauby in terms of the balance of spices and sometimes the syrup is safe to go back to :-D

FoodTravelDiva said...

Yes you're right there are many differences. Some islands add spices that I don't think go well with Mauby. So you're right sometimes syrup is the safe option.

mlsocialit said...

That's true! I find nothing beats my Bajan Mauby syrup I tend to like the old fashioned traditional Barbados mauby flavour that you get in the Delish Mauby brand, for a change I would also use sweet and dandy, I'm not sure if Delish is a familiar brand but this is what it looks like here:

olisa said...

i love bajan mauby its even better than the guyanese mauby yes i said it :-)

FoodTravelDiva said...

You know I agree with you Olisa! I could just drink a cold tall glass right about now!

Domenico Di GrĂ­goli said...

I am Italian and I love Mauby.
I knew it from Trinidad about 40 years ago and every time I go to any Caribbian store everywere I buy the syrup Matouk´s brand.
Now I have to share with my wife because she loves it too.

Desiree Lowe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Desiree Lowe said...

Hi Domenico! Yes it is quite good isn't it? Thanks for stopping by!