Freshly made tropical fruit drinks are popular in Colombia; you seldom find store-bought prepackaged fruit juices served with meals. No matter where I am, every sip of jugo de lulo brings back nostalgic memories.
I distinctly remember midday meals with family around the dining table during my childhood visits to Colombia. Of course, our favorite restaurants in New York City also served dishes ranging from hearty bandeja paisa to arepa con queso with jugo de lulo, made from pulpy lulo fruit, and always stealing the show.
If you’re in the mood for other fresh and fruity tropical fruit drinks, try jugo de maracuya, jugo de guanabana, jugo de mora… and so many more.
Read this post If you’ve ever been curious about what passion fruit tastes like.
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What is Jugo de Lulo?
It’s called lulo in Colombia, and in other countries, it’s referred to as naranjilla, which in English means ‘little orange’ (we love a good diminutive in Spanish).
Lulo is a small round fruit the size of a golf ball. If you happen to find lulo fruit in the northern hemisphere, including the US and Canada, it’s important to strain the juice before consuming it fresh. This is because when the fruit is cut in half, you will find a pulp laced with seeds.
What Does Lulo (Naranjilla) Fruit Taste Like?
The taste of lulo can be summarized as having notes of sweetness along with hints of tanginess. Imagine the taste of green tomato. Green tomatoes are slightly acidic with a hint of sweetness, and lulo is slightly more of each flavor – the citrus notes include lime and kiwi, and similarly as sweet – like a perfect harmony of flavors. The acidity and a hint of sweetness make jugo de lulo the perfect summer drink because it’s incredibly refreshing and revitalizing.
Lulo Juice Variations
There are options if you’ve ever ordered jugo de lulo at a Colombian or other Latin restaurant. Because lulo is slightly acidic, my preference is jugo de lulo with water. However, you can order it with milk, making it more of a smoothie than fruit juice.
Fresh Lulo with Milk
Enjoy it on hot days over water or creamy with milk. Milk, fresh lulo, or frozen lulo pulp, packed with ice, will turn this beautifully sweet and acidic fruit into a refreshing smoothie.
Or go creamy style with the Creamy Lulo Smoothie recipe by blending pulp using banana, honey plus milk – chill it completely before serving!
Try it in your margarita, or mix it with your favorite spirit, like vodka.
Ice Cream or Sorbet
It can even be used as a topping for ice cream or as the base for a delicious tropical sorbet. For summer, try making lulo sorbet mini pops. Store them in the freezer for the kids or to enjoy on a hot summer night.
Where Can I Find Lulo (naranjilla)
Finding fresh lulo fruit can be difficult, but frozen options are readily available. Look for frozen lulo pulp at local specialty grocery stores or online retailers specializing in international foods.
Latin American grocery stores and various online retailers typically stock frozen lulo pulps sold globally – This makes things much easier compared to sourcing fresh fruits located mainly in South America.
If you’re in a part of the world with the temperature never exceeding 70 degrees and high humidity, you could plant a naranjilla tree and try growing your lulo fruit. Similarly to maracuya, my grandmother had her passion fruit tree in the backyard of her home in Florida, and yielded enough fresh fruit for the summer. However, she planted it in an area with enough shade to protect it from the harsh summer sun and heat in West Palm Beach, Florida.
I found frozen lulo pulp individually packed into 3oz portions, ideal for a single drink. You will also find frozen tropical fruit pulp in larger frozen packs enough for larger quantities.
How Can I Sweeten My Freshly Made Jugo de Lulo?
I prefer a tangy fresh fruit juice, but if you’re a fan of sweeter, experiment with natural sweeteners like honey or agave syrup to cater to the taste profile towards personal preferences.
You can also add a tsp of sugar to this recipe, based on how sweet you prefer your freshly made juice.
How Long Does Fresh Jugo de Lulo Last in the Fridge?
Stored juice remains fresh for up to one to two days maximum, so refrigeration is ideal for last-minute preparations.
There are so many advantages to making and consuming freshly made juices, and the only downside is you should truly consume them rather quickly because they don’t have preservatives. Too many days in the fridge can cause it to spoil.
Strain the juice after blending– note that this is if you’ve been lucky enough to find fresh fruit. First, blend it, then strain it to remove any remaining seeds or pulp.
If you’re incorporating frozen pulp, there is no need to strain the juice.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust based on your desired level of sweetness or favorite flavors. For example, add half a banana to your recipe if you love a good banana smoothie and want a tangy twist.
Serve with ice or chilled for a refreshing drink. This recipe is so straightforward; you can easily make a batch for a couple of days and store it in a glass carafe.
Instructions For The Easiest Jugo de Lulo Recipe – One Serving
Take 3 ounces of frozen lulo pulp, and add it to a blender with a few cubes of ice and a cup of filtered water.
Blend for a minute. If you have a blender with an iced drink setting, select that. My Ninja blender had that option and blended the mix for about 45 seconds.
Achieving harmony between sweet and tangy elements is key when making this drink, so blend everything correctly to ensure every ounce of flavor is extracted from the pulp. And don’t forget – using cold filtered water gives it an even more refreshing feel.
Serve immediately or store in the fridge! Enjoy with your favorite steak tacos or light summer salad.
Refreshing Jugo de Lulo: ‘Little Orange’ Juice Recipe
- 1 Blender
- 1 Glass
- 3 oz Frozen Lulo Pulp
- 8 oz Water Filtered and Cold
- 4 cubes Ice
- Step OneIn a blender, add the 3 ounces of pulp with a cup of water (8ounces) and ice cubes.
- Step TwoBlend all of the ingredients for about a minute, if you have a blender with an ice drink setting, select that setting.
- Step ThreeServe and enjoy!