Every winter at Range we get these amazing white guavas. They come from Brokaw Ranch, down in Monterrey County, and they’re pretty special. They give off the most intoxicating aroma – floral, heady and seductive. You can smell them from outside in the alley when they’re downstairs ripening on the speed rack. Pretty crazy.
Where do these magical little flavor grenades come from? How do they ripen into tropical flavor bombs in the midst of deepest darkest winter? The world may never know. All I know is that they are fucking delicious, and they make a killer cocktail ingredient. Here’s how it works.
Step one. Get guavas. Not sure how hard this is. But it’s worth tracking them down. Believe me. After you’ve procured your delicate delectables, set them out to ripen. When ready they should be soft to the squeeze, like an avocado. There will probably be some brown spots, signs of over-ripening, like on a banana. That’s just fine. Some may develop a lovely red blush, as in the photo above. This is desirable. So sexy.
Step two. Peel guavas.
Just peel those fragrant skins right off of there. But save the skins, and the little stemmy bits too! Put these aside in a separate container for later. In addition to the main attraction, which is a silky guava puree, we’ll also make an equally delicious guava syrup from the skins.
Step three. Mash that guava up. I use a food mill with a fine filter. A food mill is basically a sieve with a little scraper doodad on it. As you turn the crank, the scraper doodad forces whatever you’ve put into the mill through the sieve. The guavas have a bunch of little yellow seeds nestled within their creamy, succulent interiors. Don’t break these! They’ll turn your puree all bitter and shit. Gentle. Be gentle.
Step four. After you’ve mashed that guava up in your food mill, Take it out and put it in some containers. Guava freezes like a dream, so you can enjoy its tropical aroma all year long. Ohhh yeaaaaah.
Step five. Take the reserved skins and bits and throw them in a pot with an appropriate amount of simple syrup. This amount is up to you. If you only skinned and mashed four guavas, then you might only need about 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. If you mashed 10 pounds of guavas, like I did, then you can use 2 quarts of sugar and 2 quarts of water. Just depends. Simmer your syrup/guava mixture for about 20 minutes. Strain out them solids, and voila, guava syrup. Taste that shit, it’s delicious!
At this point you are done with the boring, tedious part, and can now embark on the fun, exciting part, which is where you add the booze!
The guavas really lend themselves to neo-tiki preparations, what with their serious tropical vibrations. This year we’re doing something with 209 gin, Yellow Chartreuse, Allspice Dram, lime, and IPA. It’s all about highlighting the floral notes in the guava, and grounding the thing with some deep, spicy base notes. One of the great things about guava is that you really can’t go wrong. It’s that goddamned delicious.
So if you can track down some white guavas for yourself, now you know what to do with them!
Anywhere from 2 – 10 pounds ripe white guavas
Little freezer-proof containers
1. Peel and trim guavas, being sure to remove stems and flower remnants. Save peels and remnants in separate container.
2. Cut guavas into small chunks.
3. Place food mill over large container. In batches, process guavas in food mill until left with gross-looking clumps of yellow seeds in the mill, and creamy delicious puree in the container.
4. Discard seeds and junk from mill. Pour creamy delicious puree into small freezer-proof containers. Freeze, or use puree within 4 days.
5. Shake that shit up into a tasty beverage.
Any amount of white guava skins
1. Heat water in pan until hot. Stir in sugar and dissolve to make a 1:1 simple syrup. Bring to simmer.
2. Stir in guava peels. Simmer for 20 minutes. Let cool and strain out solids.
3. Shake that shit up into a tasty beverage, or refrigerate for up to 1 week.
1.5 oz 209 Gin
.75 oz white guava puree
.75 oz guava syrup
.5 oz Yellow Chartreuse
.5 oz Lime juice
.25 oz Allspice Dram
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 oz IPA
1. Combine all ingredients except beer in cocktail shaker.
2. Add ice and shake for 20 seconds.
3. Single strain into a large rocks glass.
4. Top with beer. Garnish with purple flower (or lime wheel).