Fresh Tamarindo Juice From Costa Rica

Close-up of tamarindo juice with ice floating on top.

This refreshing homemade tamarindo juice from Costa Rica is packed with vitamins and flavor. One of the most popular juices in Costa Rica and easy to make at home- no juicer needed!
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About Tamarind Juice

Tamarind juice is made from tamarind pods that grow on the tamarind tree throughout Costa Rica. Because they are so commonly found throughout the country, the fruit is used for both homemade juices and as a flavoring for candies and desserts.

“Tamarindo” is a popular fruit throughout Latin America. In Mexico, the fruit is often combined with chile pepper and made into candies. Most Latin American countries call this drink “agua de tamarindo” or “aguas frescas de tamarindo” which translates to tamarind water. In Costa Rica, however, we call this juice fresco de tamarindo or sometimes jugo de tamarindo.

This particular natural juice is a very popular drink in Costa Rica, and found on most menus. You can also buy tamarind fruit at almost any grocery store or farmer’s market. The fruit comes in a hard brown shell that has to be peeled off before consumption. It also has very hard seeds in the middle. The part you eat is a soft, chewy brown part between the outer shell and the inner seed.

Tamarind is also popular throughout Asia- I love Pad Thai and a tamarind paste is used in that dish. The tamarind has several health benefits- it is anti-inflammatory and a good source of Vitamin C. This drink, while a little labor-intensive, is one of the most delicious drinks on the planet. Get ready to enjoy!

Side note- there is a very popular beach in Costa Rica called Tamarindo- it’s gorgeous, super close to the Liberia Airport, and popular with tourists. Read more: 20 Marvelous Beaches on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast

Tamarindo Juice Recipe (Jugo de tamarindo)

Ingredients:

  • 15-20 tamarind pods
  • 2 quarts water + 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup sugar- granulated sugar or cane sugar

Kitchen Tools:

  • fine mesh strainer
  • blender

Instructions:

Remove the hard shells and strings from the outside of the tamarind pods. 

In a small bowl, place the warm water and the tamarind pods to soak. Soak overnight until soft.

Remove the hard tamarind seeds and extra strings. Place the soft tamarind fruit and one quart of water in your blender and puree until smooth.

Pour the tamarind mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. If you need to, you can push the soft pulp through the strainer. Pour about 1 cup of water through the strainer to push through any extra fruit.

Stir together the rest of the water, tamarindo mixture and the granulated sugar in a pitcher. Cool, serve with ice in a tall glass. 

More drink recipes from Pura Vida Moms:

Substitutions

You can use a no-calorie sweetener such as Stevia in place of the sugar.

If you want to try the flavor of tamarindo, you can get a tamrindo puree and just add water. It is not nearly as delicious, but the flavor is similar.

You can also often find frozen tamarindo from the Goya brand in the frozen section of some Latin supermarkets. 

Variations

Some recipes call for a bit of lime juice to be added to the tamarind water. 

You can also bring water to a boil and add the tamarind pods to the hot water for about 90 minutes instead of soaking overnight.

Finally, you can make this juice and place it in popsicle molds for a refreshing popsicle treat!

Related post: Starfruit Popsicle or Guava Ginger Paleta Recipe

Serving Suggestions

You can often find fresco de tamarindo in Costa Rica served at mealtimes, and almost all restaurants have it on the menu. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to eat with agua de tamarindo.

FAQ

Where can I buy tamarind juice? – In the USA, you would probably have to go to a mom and pop type Latin restaurant. In Costa Rica, you can go to almost any restaurant and ask. If they have tamarindo they will make it for you.

Related posts: Where To Eat In Jaco Costa Rica and A Foodie’s Restaurant Guide To La Fortuna

Does tamarind juice work for weight loss? – Many people do believe that tamarind juice will help you lost weight. however, if you are looking to lost weight, I would definitely use a non-sugar sweetener.

Our most popular Costa Rican recipes:

Printable Recipe

Yield: 8 servings

Costa Rican Tamarindo Juice

Close-up of tamarindo juice with ice floating on top.

This refreshing tamarindo juice from Costa Rica is packed with vitamins and flavor. One of the most popular juices in Costa Rica and easy to make at home!

Prep Time 12 hours
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 15-20 tamarind pods
  • 2 quarts water + 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup sugar- granulated sugar or cane sugar

Instructions

  1. Remove the hard shells and strings from the outside of the tamarind pods. 
  2. In a small bowl, place the warm water and the tamarind pods to soak. Soak overnight until soft.
  3. Remove the hard tamarind seeds and extra strings. Place the soft tamarind fruit and one quart of water in your blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Pour the tamarind mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. If you need to, you can push the soft pulp through the strainer. Pour about 1 cup of water through the strainer to push through any extra fruit.
  5. Stir together the rest of the water, tamarindo mixture and the granulated sugar in a pitcher. Cool, serve with ice in a tall glass. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 817Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 96mgCarbohydrates: 213gFiber: 15gSugar: 142gProtein: 8g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

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