Mauby – an overview

Mauby is one of my favorite Trini drinks. It is especially popular during this, the Carnival season. I grew up drinking it at my Aunt’s house where it seemed she always had a full pitcher waiting for the arrival of me and her 101+ godchildren. Cool and refreshing, sweet and yet bitter, it’s definitely an acquired taste. When I lived in the US the closest I could find to it was root beer (of which I naturally became a devotee).

Mauby is made from the bark of the mauby tree. This bark can be bought at local markets, and sometimes the supermarket carries it as well. However for the lazier ones amongst us, mauby concentrate (shown below) is also available in large glass bottles.

Matouk's Mauby Concentrate

I have bought the concentrate a few times and I think it is a ‘slightly below acceptable substitute’ for the real thing, being overpoweringly sweet in my eyes and lacking sufficient ‘bite’. I used it happily in the US though where scoring a bottle was like hitting the jackpot, so I imagine it will do if you are stranded in Wisconsin or Siberia :P

Here in Trinidad we also have a carbonated version of mauby called Mauby Fizz (of which there is also a diet version). Now -that- I love as it strikes the perfect balance between bitter and sweet! :D

Mauby Fizz

From the Trinidad Guardian:

mauby bark

The mauby bark comes from a tree belonging to the Rhamnaceae family, which is abundant in many Caribbean islands.

It is found growing in thickets and woodlands, in dry coastal and limestone regions of southwest Puerto Rico, Culebra, St Croix, St Thomas, St John, Tortola and Angola. It flowers in July and fruits from September to March.

The tree can also be grown in southern Florida, including the Florida Keys, Bahamas, Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles, the south of St Vincent, southern Mexico and Guatemala.

This bitter bark is known by more than one name, depending on the island where it is grown or consumed.

The Dominican Republic calls it mabi; Cuba, jaya jabico; United States, soldier wood and naked wood; Bahamas, smooth snake bark; Haiti, bois mabi and bois de fer; Guadeloupe, bois mabi and mambee; Antigua, mabi; and of course, T&T, mauby.

The sapwood is light brown and the heartwood is dark brown. The wood is hard and heavy, strong and durable. It is commonly used for posts in Puerto Rico.

The tree is evergreen, usually ten-15 feet high and less than four feet in trunk diameter, with a spreading crown of thin foliage.

The orange-brown bark is smooth on small trunks, but becomes fissured, splitting off the scales. The inner bark is light brown and bitter.

Still can’t get enough mauby? Check out this article from Slakethirst titled Mmmm?Ǩ Mauby!, however do note that the recipe shared in that article bears no resemblance to the maubies that I know. :D

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  • http://thedancingfoodie.blogspot.com Honey

    You make it sound so mouthwatering. I love the bitter sweetness of tonic water, so mauby sounds great. Is it much like root beer really, or just slightly like?

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      hmm i’ll have to let someone in america answer that one, i haven’t had root beer since 2000 and have forgotten what it’s like :) but there were some similarities :)

  • http://thedancingfoodie.blogspot.com Honey

    You make it sound so mouthwatering. I love the bitter sweetness of tonic water, so mauby sounds great. Is it much like root beer really, or just slightly like?

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      hmm i’ll have to let someone in america answer that one, i haven’t had root beer since 2000 and have forgotten what it’s like :) but there were some similarities :)

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      hmm i’ll have to let someone in america answer that one, i haven’t had root beer since 2000 and have forgotten what it’s like :) but there were some similarities :)

  • http://thedancingfoodie.blogspot.com Honey

    You make it sound so mouthwatering. I love the bitter sweetness of tonic water, so mauby sounds great. Is it much like root beer really, or just slightly like?

  • Marsha

    I may be the only trini who doesn’t like mauby :(

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      i think i met someone else who didn’t like it .. but i don’t remember them :P

      • Marsha

        I may be biased too Nikki but rootbeer doesn’t taste like mauby. Mauby is better (if there is a better). Root beer tastes to me like Licorice and medicine….So
        Why did I even comment :)

        • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

          well i’ve heard people say mauby tastes like licorice and medicine lol :) … i never said mauby tasted like root beer though, i said it was the closest i could find.. meaning they are both tree based and bittersweet in flavour … i did love me my rootbeer though, so i’m probably also biased… and ooo root beer floats…. loved loved loved

  • Marsha

    I may be the only trini who doesn’t like mauby :(

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      i think i met someone else who didn’t like it .. but i don’t remember them :P

      • Marsha

        I may be biased too Nikki but rootbeer doesn’t taste like mauby. Mauby is better (if there is a better). Root beer tastes to me like Licorice and medicine….So
        Why did I even comment :)

        • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

          well i’ve heard people say mauby tastes like licorice and medicine lol :) … i never said mauby tasted like root beer though, i said it was the closest i could find.. meaning they are both tree based and bittersweet in flavour … i did love me my rootbeer though, so i’m probably also biased… and ooo root beer floats…. loved loved loved

  • http://thedancingfoodie.blogspot.com Honey

    I love root beer too, though it’s really hard to get the old fashioned, fully-flavored kind though. I love going to soda fountains and getting old-fashioned root beer.

  • http://thedancingfoodie.blogspot.com Honey

    I love root beer too, though it’s really hard to get the old fashioned, fully-flavored kind though. I love going to soda fountains and getting old-fashioned root beer.

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  • fazil ramoly

    is it good to lower the sugar in the blood?

  • fazil ramoly

    is it good to lower the sugar in the blood?

  • lucian lucian

    i planted a few mauby trees a few years ago. however, i do not know how to prepare the bark myself. can someone please help me

  • lucian lucian

    i planted a few mauby trees a few years ago. however, i do not know how to prepare the bark myself. can someone please help me

  • lucian lucian

    i planted a few mauby trees a few years ago. however, i do not know how to prepare the bark myself. can someone please help me

  • mmmeister

    Mauby – its an acquired taste isn’t it? Anyone notice what effects it has? I’ve heard that it puts lead in your pencil…..”H” or “HH”?? ;-)

  • mmmeister

    Mauby – its an acquired taste isn’t it? Anyone notice what effects it has? I’ve heard that it puts lead in your pencil…..”H” or “HH”?? ;-)

  • mmmeister

    Mauby – its an acquired taste isn’t it? Anyone notice what effects it has? I’ve heard that it puts lead in your pencil…..”H” or “HH”?? ;-)

  • Pat Pelt

    My husband co-worker is from Trinidad and he brings my husband a bottle each time he goes there. At first I didn't like it, but now it beginning to taste ok. Is this drink good for any type illness or what are the pros and cons of the drink if there are any.

  • Pat Pelt

    My husband co-worker is from Trinidad and he brings my husband a bottle each time he goes there. At first I didn't like it, but now it beginning to taste ok. Is this drink good for any type illness or what are the pros and cons of the drink if there are any.

  • Pat Pelt

    My husband co-worker is from Trinidad and he brings my husband a bottle each time he goes there. At first I didn't like it, but now it beginning to taste ok. Is this drink good for any type illness or what are the pros and cons of the drink if there are any.

  • Tamarind Ball

    Pernod in Mauby is yum yum yum!!!!!

  • Tamarind Ball

    Pernod in Mauby is yum yum yum!!!!!

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