Friday, April 6, 2012

Bargain Barbadine Punch

I woke up late – just as I had planned to – and was coaxed into alertness from a deliciously familiar smell coming from the kitchen. I couldn’t pinpoint it right away, but my top two possibilities, soursop and barbadine came to mind. 

Entering the kitchen, I was greeted with the sight of two very beautiful barbadines, bursting with sweetness. The first one had just been washed and placed on the cutting board and I couldn’t resist taking a quick photo.

It had been months I had seen one. My childhood days were bountiful days for them. I can remember the taste of barbadine ice cream all too well. The recipe is still in my head… The last time I had seen one was in Tru Valu grocery, and it was encased in cling film and Styrofoam no less, and slapped with an eighteen dollar price tag. There was no way to even coax the scent towards my nostrils to determine its ripeness either… compare that to the fragrant ones in my kitchen, procured from “de man on the main road with de truck”, at a lovely cost of ten dollars each. (Great bargain indeed!)

We had to move fast, because they would not last in the fridge as they were dangerously close to crossing over to over ripeness… with that said, the tools and other ingredients were brought out quickly, and Errol grabbed his knife and started the operation…

The barbadine was split deftly in two and the seeds were scraped out. The inner wall where the seeds were attached was also scraped off.

The flesh of the barbadine was placed in a huge bowl, after being gently scraped away from the skin.

Three tablespoons of mixed essence, a few dashes of Angostura Bitters, one and a half tins of condensed milk and 5 cups of whole milk were all poured over the fruit.

The immersion blender came out to break it all down. Normally this would go into the blender in batches and blended on 'liquefy' until nice and smooth. The immersion blender did its job well though, and I could tell already that this was going to be a pretty large amount…

Gave it a taste, but it wasn’t sweet at all, so another can of condensed milk went in, and it was blended again. 
As you can see, it was pretty thick. The only thing left to do was pour some into a glass with some ice.

Barbadine punch, with a pinch of nutmeg!

We got a gallon and a few cups extra from this batch. Of course, the extra cups were drunk with gusto, while the rest was decanted into a giant mug and placed in the fridge. I should note that we didn’t worry to squeeze any pulp from the seeds themselves as we had two barbadines to process; there was more than enough flavour to go around. No scene. It was good to taste barbadine again. 

Thus ends another adventure in my little kitchen. Hope you enjoyed it, and if you want the detailed recipe, email me at 

Take care of yourselves, and like I always say, don't forget to mind the pot!


  1. I just got back from Trinidad and after some random searches I found this wonderful site!

    I had this drink at a roti stand near San Fernando and loved it. Their version was way too sweet, but I could still appreciate it.