Ji kowosòl 🥛

What is your favorite drink?

I do not have a favorite drink, but I do have a favorite “type” of drink!

My favorite types of drinks are the ones with milk as one of the main ingredients in them. I love the rich, dense texture and taste that milk gives to drinks. The drink, then, has a personality. It has something very heavy on its mind, and it is not reluctant to make you aware of that.

I wouldn’t consider milk-based drinks to be “thick”. Milkshakes are thick but that is due to the ice scream used to make it. “Milky” drinks are what I consider to be liquid that have a bold presence. Juice—apple juice, for example—would be a liquid…and that’s it. It gushes into your mouth and pours down your throat but, before you know it, it is gone. You may have the taste in your mouth for a few seconds but, very soon, saliva will wash that away too. Now, it is gone from your memory, too. Milk-based drinks are different. They hold on to you and linger in your memory. They slide down quick enough to not be a bother, but, after their disappearance, you will think about that personality. I like that about milk drinks. They have a very strong personality.

Although there are a lot of drinks that I’ve really liked, the most memorable milk-based drink that I’ve had was in Haiti. The drink is called “Ji Kowosòl”, or Soursop Juice. Soursop has this natural milk-like taste to it. When that is blended with milk, brown sugar, lakay, and cinnamon, the taste is something that your soul will never forget.

I haven’t had ji kowosòl since I left Haiti in 2008. One day in the summer of 2021, I was doing my weekly grocery shopping in the neighborhood’s supermarket when I came across a strangely-shaped container in the juice section. It had a dark green plastic wrap around it, and the bottle had small bumps on it. After observantly turning it in my palm, feeling it, and analyzing the container—oh my GOD—I realized what that strangely-shaped juice bottle was imitating! It was KOWOSÒL! The container was the shape of a soursop—thus why it had bumps on it! Before you judge me by saying that I could’ve just read what was written on it, let me admit that I DID see the word “Soursop” on the plastic, but remember that before that moment I had never seen that fruit or anything relating to it anywhere in the States. Therefore, I never bothered to find out its name in English because what is the point? It’s nowhere to be found.

I threw the container into my shopping cart, payed for everything, then practically skipped home with the biggest grin on my face—ecstatic taste it! Of course, it wasn’t the ji kowosòl that left me in awe every single time I had it as a child in Haiti. The drink was exactly what it promised on the wrapping; soursop purée that is not blended with cultural creativity—sour, sweet, gooey, fleshy, and a bit tarty. Nonetheless, the reminder of a taste that my soul has secretly been yearning for 13 years was enough to make a tear swell up as my memory brings back the joy a little boy would feel upon sipping a cool glass of Ji Kowosòl on a hot day, on a Caribbean island.

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