Moonshinin’: How to Infuse Gin With Guava

Photo by Ryan Benoit

Our pride and joy is the 60-plus-year-old guava tree outside our kitchen window. It’s a feijoa to be exact, AKA a pineapple guava, and every August and September — in exchange for water, animal action, ferns and a custom RB table at its root — the tree yields dozens of pounds of fruit. Unlike the pink guavas C’s parents used to eat in the Caribbean, these ones stay green. Their insides are ecru-pale with a teensy crescent of edible vermillion seeds in the middle. The scent and taste are mildly tart.

We usually receive enough of a surfeit to mail them out to everybody we know. This year’s crop was modest, though. After using them in salads (and on top of Labor Day burgers and hotdogs), we drowned the surplus in a big old bottle of gin.

The infusion was easy. We washed the fruit, chopped them lengthwise into eighths; we deposited the pieces into a large, sterilized jar. We poured 750 mL of Beefeater in after it. After a week in the fridge, the gin’s bite was mellowed by the fruit’s perky tropicality. After straining out the fruit, it was time to mix up a doozy of an aromatic cocktail.

It’s a boozy souvenir from a late-summer fruit that we can enjoy all year.

Guava madnesssss…