Today we make a delicious, refreshing tropical beverage called Jugo De Tamarindo. It’s an uber-refreshing sweetened tamarind drink that takes less than 30 minutes to make. It’s easy, will cool you down instantly, and is perfect for a nutrient boost!
Give it a try, and let me know what you think! And don’t forget to check out the many other refreshing juices I have on my site. Some fan favorites include this tasty Cantaloupe Melon Juice and my Sugar-Free Pineapple Cucumber Juice.
What Is Jugo De Tamarindo?
Jugo de Tamarindo is a well-known drink in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, and many other Latin American countries. It is made from a combination of tamarind, water, and sweetener. It’s served over ice, usually as a refreshment on scorching summer days.
Many different parts of the world have their own version. You can find it in Spain, Puerto Rico, and really any country that has strong Spanish or Mexican influence. And, you can even find a tamarind drink similar to this in African countries!
Where most people start getting confused with this beverage is how it is made. Some like to make an uncooked version, but this takes hours of soaking the tamarind to make it soft.
Then, others like to simply blend everything together and strain the mixture. Personally, I don’t like the flavor that this technique provides. It’s almost watered-down.
The method I will be using today to make Jugo de Tamarindo can be a little time-consuming, but it hands-down gives you the best flavor!
What Is Tamarind, And How Do You Prepare It?
Tamarind shouldn’t be confused with turmeric. Turmeric is a spice that grows underneath the ground. Tamarind pods grow on trees.
It is technically a fruit pod that is stuffed with seeds covered in a tangy, bitter pulp. The riper the tamarind pods get, the sweeter their flavor becomes.
But, to get to this pulp, you need to remove the shells (pods).
To peel these pods, you can simply crack the shell. Then, peel it away with your fingers and discard the hard shells. You will see some stringy bits come off along with the shells. These should be removed too.
You will instantly feel the pasty puree on the inside. Keep removing any string bits until the paste is clean.
Set it aside and repeat this process until you have the amount that you need.
Is Jugo De Tamarindo Healthy?
Tamarind is an extremely healthy and nutrient-dense ingredient. It’s actually very underrated!
Some note-worthy nutrients these tiny fruits contain include vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, and niacin.
It is also very low in fat and high in fiber (even though you won’t ingest much in this recipe) and contains some protein. They are an excellent source of antioxidants which can help boost your overall health and reduce inflammation.
Furthermore, tamarind contains nutrients that may have anti-cancer properties, can improve your overall heart health, lower your cholesterol, and promote a healthy liver.
To learn more about the benefits you may get from this drink, read up here.
Tips And Tricks For Making Jugo De Tamarindo
- First and foremost, you can play around with the amount of sugar you add. Many people even prefer tamarindo agua without any sugar at all.
- That being said, if you still want the sweetness without the calories, you can also use a low-calorie alternative, like Xylitol.
- When choosing tamarind, it’s best to choose the ones with the darkest color. The darker the color, the riper the paste is, and the sweeter the fruit will be. Unripe tamarind paste is green and extremely sour. If you are working with shells, the ripe ones are usually very hard and crack easily. The unripe shells are soft and won’t cleanly crack.
- And finally, if you are lucky enough to have any leftover Jugo de Tamarindo, you can store it inside a closed jug. It shouldn’t be exposed to any oxygen. It will keep well inside the fridge for a day or two.
This drink should always be served chilled. So as you can imagine, it’s super refreshing. Tamarindo water has a very sweet flavor with a slightly tart undertone. But don’t worry, the sugar for this recipe is completely adjustable and you can add more or take away some to your liking.
It really depends on where you are located. For example, in many Asian countries, they are simply stores at the local grocery store. But, if you aren’t so lucky, you can take a look at a Latin American or African grocer. For some reason, I’ve found that few Asian grocers carry them. And, best of all, you can also order them online if you really can’t find any.
You definitely can, especially seeing how most store-bought tamarind pastes are unprocessed. They are essentially just pre-peeled to make your life easier.
More Juice Recipes
Jugo de Tamarindo (Tamarind Drink)
- 2 1/2 cups tamarind, peeled (350 grams)
- 5 cups water
- 1/2 – 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
- Ice cubes, for serving
- To start, peel the tamarind pods. You can use the guide above for a more in-depth description of this process.
- Combine the sugar, peeled tamarind, and 3 cups of water in a large pot.
- Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Once the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat and leave the tamarind to cook, covered, for roughly 8-10 minutes.
- When the time has elapsed, remove the pot from the heat. Remove the lid from the pot and leave the ingredients to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Next, use a potato masher to crush the tamarind. Make sure that you crush the ingredients very well to ensure they will pass through the sieve as best as they can.
- Once they are mashed, take scoopsful of the mashed mixture and pass it through a fine-meshed sieve. Press the paste gently to extract as much tamarind water as you can.
- When you have extracted as much water as you can, pour it into a serving jug with ice.
- Stir in the remaining 2 cups of water and serve the tamarind juice chilled.