If you’re a fan of exotic fruits and fresh drinks prepared from exotic fruits, you’ll probably be interested in our naranjilla juice recipe or lulada. In this post, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about this popular Colombian drink, including its origins, variations, and how to prepare naranjilla juice at your home. Let’s start!
What is Lulada or Naranjilla Juice?
Lulada is a traditional Colombian beverage made from the local lulo fruit, also known as Naranjilla. The other main ingredients include water, sugar, and lime juice. This popular local drink is dense like a smoothie because the traditional method of preparation includes smashing the fruit rather than squeezing its juice out. Oftentimes, locals consume this drink with a shot of aguardiente.
The flavor of the lulo fruit is slightly acidic and tart and it’s also used for making different kinds of smoothies and jelly-based desserts. Some locals even make wine out of it and others also consume it raw by removing the spines and eating the flesh. The fruit is known under different names in different regions but the drink is called lulada after the Colombian name for the fruit (lulo).
The lulada can also be prepared as an agua fresca with plenty of other fruits being added in the mix.
In some regions of Latin America, this fruit is also known as naranjilla which translates to “little orange”. However, even though this fruit may look like an orange, it actually doesn’t even belong to the citrus family. The lulo fruit is a part of the nightshade family, making it closely related to fruits like tomatoes and eggplants (yes, eggplants are technically fruits).
As for the naranjilla juice (lulada) drink, we actually know very little about its origin and history. We know that the drink originates from the Valle del Cauca Region and is especially popular in Cali and that it was first introduced outside of Latin America at a fair in New York in the late 1930s. However, little is known about when and how the lulada drink was actually created for the first imte.
Firstly, you have to understand that this drink doesn’t consist only from the lulo fruit juice. It’s prepared by squeezing the juice out of the fruit and the naranjilla juice recipe that is prepared by mashing the fruit pulp, mixing it with lemon juice and sugar, and beating it with a grinder before serving.
There are also a lot of other traditional Colombian drinks made from this fruit and even though similar, they are different drinks. A couple of examples include jugo de lulo and champus.
As the naranjilla juice recipe gains in popularty, there are a lot of new non-traditional variations coming out. Some of the most popular uses include using the naranjilla juice as the main ingredient in a cocktail with some condensed milk and vodka/brandy. Finally, the lulada recipe can also be prepared as an agua fresca with a lot of other fruits added into the mix.
Where To Get Lulada?
The naranjilla plant is quite fragile and has proven to be difficult for cultivating outside of South America. In addition to this, the final product (the lulo fruit) is also very easily damaged and because of this, it’s difficult to export it to distant destinations even though the fruits are usually harvested while still not ripe.
That’s why it’s quite difficult to get fresh lulo and lulo juice outside of South America. You can find frozen lulo pulp or canned lulos with syrup at Latin grocery stores around the world. These frozen or canned product can be a good substitute but honestly, it’s not the same.
Lulada can be enjoyed as a refreshing beverage, it can be served alongside some traditional dishes like empanadas, and last but not least, it can also be used for alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.
Are you a fan of exotic tropical fruits? Then you may also like some of our other posts, such as:
Everything You Need For This Recipe
- 6 lulos (diced and peeled)
- 4 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
- 4 and 1/2 Cups Of Water
- 1 and ½ Tablespoon Sugar or Panela (unrefined cane sugar)
- 3 Cups Of Crushed Ice
1. Add sugar, lulos, and one half of the water, into a bowl.
2. Mash everything together with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the lime juice and the rest of the water to the mix and
stir well until combined.
4. Spread the ice out in four glasses before pouring the beverage.
5. Pour the beverage in the glasses, garnish every glass with a slice of lime, and serve it with a spoon on the side.
Serving Size:1 Glass
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 82Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 12gNet Carbohydrates: 12gFiber: 5.6gSugar: 4gProtein: 1.1g
Did you ever try naranjilla juice? Did you like our lulada recipe? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and if you tried this naranjilla juice recipe, don’t forget to leave us a rating.
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