Planning to visit Colombia in the near future?
If so, I strongly recommend a typical drink known to the country’s inhabitants as Limonada de Coco (Coconut Lemonade). This cool drink, I have learned, is originated from the North Coast (La Costa) of Colombia.
Limonada de Coco (Coconut Lemonade)
By: Stacy Ann Smith
The Northern cost consists of famous cities such as Cartagena de Indias. It is the most popular, in my opinion.
I say this because thousands of tourists, for various reasons or reasons best known to them, are lured to the location each year, making Cartagena a destination of choice. Barranquilla, Sincelejo and Santa Marta are some of the other famous and historic cities culturally.
The Costeños – people from the coast – had since time immemorial been making their lemonade using the same ingredients. In fact, their version of lemonade so to speak is novel compared to lemonade made by the citizens of my country – Jamaica.
For example, the ingredients that are consistent with the making of ours in Jamaica and other English-speaking Caribbean nations consists of lime or lemon juice, water and brown or white sugar.
For me personally, this new way of making lemonade – Coconut Lemonade – seemed strange at first, as it relates to how lemonade is made here in Colombia. If you should visit any restaurant in Colombia and you order lemonade, you would be asked “en agua o leche?” (in water or milk?)
Yes, I said it…Milk!
Lemonade Colombian style is made with the following ingredients, (plain water or coconut milk. Here limonada de coco, can also be found in any high-end or local restaurants or even on the beach. But to my surprise, it is not considered Colombian street food. It is sold never on the streets because this lovely tasting drink is considered to be gourmet lemonade.
Permit me to reiterate, this drink consists of coconut milk, green lime juice, sugar, coconut cream, and ice.
Of course, there are different versions of the making of this beverage. It can be made watery or like a smoothie, by using a blender and ice. At times, this drink is served with the coconut shavings (grated coconut) or without the shavings. Again it depends on the person making the beverage, the choices of the purchaser or the region in which it is being made.
If I were to equate the Colombia lemonade with one of our indigenous drinks in Jamaica, it would be in my opinion like the Soursop juice, because it too can be made with either milk or water, with or without its pulp.
The limonada de Coco is not really consumed at home, that is to say, it’s not homemade as the normal lemonade.
People usually order Limonada de Coco when they are hanging out at the beach, lyming with friends at a hotel bar, having a dinner or cocktail party or just having Sunday brunch at a restaurant.
However, I challenge you to blend these ingredients at home on a hot sunny day or one Sunday evening whilst preparing the good ole Sunday rice and peas.
Being gourmet, the limonada de Coco differs in price to the normal lemonade (which is made without coconut milk). The price of limonada de Coco ranges between fifteen to twenty-five thousand Pesos (15000 – 25000 COP), which is anywhere between five hundred to a thousand Jamaican dollars ($500 – $1000 JMD).
According to the caliber of restaurant that one may visit, the normal lemonade has a fixed price of four thousand pesos (4000 COP), which is equal to just one hundred and fifty-eight Jamaican dollars ($158 JMD).
In this video I am in an exclusive restaurant here in Villavicencio city called Cocos Gourmet, enjoying among other things the famous and refreshing Limonada de Coco.
So enjoy this Lemonade Colombian Style!
Stacey Ann Smith is from Kingston, Jamaica. She is an alumnus of Camperdown High School and she graduated from The Shortwood Teachers’ College having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Modern Languages, Spanish and French. Presently, Stacey is an English teacher at a University, in Columbia. She describes herself as a vivacious and loving person who also has a passion for traveling, taking pictures, her son Nicholas and Ashley, her adorable feline.