I need to track down "mixed essence" for a West Indian coconut rice pudding recipe. There are lots of versions available from online grocers, but I'm wondering whether anyone could recommend a brand, or explain whether there are major differences between brands/versions from different islands.



China M. January 11, 2011
Thanks so much! Not only does this answer my question, it also gives me one more excuse to buy Luxardo, which I really want to own anyway.
betteirene January 8, 2011
I think the reason you're not getting answers is because 1) there aren't many Caribbean cooks on this site (pity) and 2) mixed essence is an artificial extract. If you smelled the difference between artificial lemon extract and a lemon peel steeped in vodka, you'd know why we aren't fans of most artificial flavors.

Instead of spending the money on something you might not ever use again, try making your own extract by mixing a spoonful of maraschino liqueur (Luxardo) with the zest and a few drops of juice from a lime, with some droplets of real vanilla extract. Heck, you could probably get away with using the juice left in a jar of maraschino cherries if you can't get the Luxardo. Maraschino imparts notes of cherry and almond, and with the lime and vanilla, I think you'd have a mixed essence that would be better and cheaper than what you'd purchase online.
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