What’s to Drink?

It’s a warm climate here in Panama, especially if you aren’t in the mountains so it’s important to stay hydrated. There are lots of options for yummy and healthy things to drink. My favorites are ice tea with lemon, lemonade, passion fruit drink, and tamarindo drink. If I’m lucky I have Stevia in the Raw on hand. Otherwise the single serving packets of stevia are available.

Right now it’s lemon season, those crazy big lemons I have written about before. The first tree was severely trimmed last year but we have gotten a few. Yesterday we checked the other tree and it had a lot waiting to be picked up.

These 24 lemons gave me a gallon of juice!

Last year I had enough juice in the freezer to last all year. This is more than I can possibly use so most of this is going in the freezer.

Two of the bigger containers will make a pitcher of lemonade. One of the smaller ones is good for ice tea or anything else that needs a smaller amount.

Frozen lemon juice “cubes” in the bag, ready for the freezer. The containers were refilled for the next batch of “cubes”.

I had also bought a bag of passion fruit. I learned that it’s easy to put the pulp in the blender with some water. Then you can use it as is, or strain out the seeds and pulp. If you don’t strain it the seeds sink to the bottom and are easy to avoid.

Four fruits seem to be a good amount for a 2 liter pitcher of drink. Sweeten to taste.

I buy my tamarindo like this from the produce market down the street. I have finally discovered a tree nearby but need to wait for fruiting season. It makes pods of seeds and fruit that need to be boiled, and then you would get something like this already prepared fruit in the bag. To make the drink, put the fruit in water and squish it around with your fingers to loosen the fruit pulp from the seeds. Then, strain out the seeds, add water and sweeten to taste. This package is good for a 2 liter pitcher of drink.

We also have a limón tree in the yard. Here, limón is generic for many tart citrus fruits from little key limes to the big lemons above. We have these odd lemons, green with scaly beige patches but they are so good! They have an excellent flavor and give lots of juice.

We had two trees but one died last year. We also didn’t have fruit last year because of the brush fire the year before which caused the trees to drop all their leaves. But, this year we have fruit again. Thank you tree!

There is a lot of citrus fruit here. Besides the many limóns there are varieties of oranges and grapefruits as well. They usually don’t look as pretty as the ones in the US but they taste really good.

I was on my way out yesterday and snapped this photo of our front yard because I’ve taken the time to weed and clean a bit, and I thought it was looking especially pretty.

The yard was mostly weeds when we arrived but now it has a lot of things growing. That’s moringa on the left, and a small patch of ginger in front. Behind is a lemon tree, the really big ones. I started it from seed and maybe next year it will be big enough to fruit. Behind are a couple avocados near the fence. In the middle is a lipstick palm, some plantains, and behind that a dwarf coconut palm, pineapples, and a plant that’s good for making tea. On the right, the tall things are yucca. There are more pineapples below, and some heliconias behind. Farther back are a couple young cashew apple trees.

Fun, huh :). When I was a kid, working outside and growing things was my refuge, and it’s remained a pleasure throughout my life.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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9 Responses to What’s to Drink?

  1. Great post, amiga! We love all of the fresh fruit juices avalable in Panama, especially maracuya (my personal favorite). But warm climate? For us, that means Southern California. How about hot as the hinges of hell (one of my dad’s favorite expressions)? At least, that’s how we’ve found David. Of course, everyone’s heat tolerance is different 😎


    • This is why we don’t live in Boquete, and don’t even go there without cold weather clothes in the car. Brrrr. It’s amazing how a short drive will land you in a very different climate and how good we can choose what works. Maracuya, oh yes, good stuff! When our veggie has some he knows he can sell it all to me.


  2. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    How embarrassing! I am sitting here drooling thinking about the last time I had freshly made chicha de naranjilla. OMGosh, nothing cuts the thirst on a hot day like that fruit juice. We can get a poor substitute here as a powdered concentrate but nothing comes near the real deal. Juice from those limón dulces are a close 2nd place but we don’t see them often here either.
    Nena loves David. We spend most of our visits in Panama City or David with trips up the hill to see family. Panama City is HOT. No air movement, a typical big city. David is warm at times but usually a breeze or a fan is all that is needed. And, if one has access to naranjilla, no sweat!
    Feliz Año Nuevo a ti y Joel!


  3. I haven’t tried naranjilla. I’ve seen them growing but never where I felt comfortable picking them, and I don’t think they sell them in the fruit markets. Now I’ll have to intensify my efforts to find some!
    We live on the north side of David with lots of trees and woods and yes, there is usually a nice breeze. If you stay out of the sun in the afternoon it’s very comfortable. As I tell people, we don’t live in the Pricesmart parking lot!
    Feliz Año Nuevo a ti también, y a Nena y toda tu familia!


  4. Jim VanZwol says:

    Kris, as always thank you so much for your blog! I truly enjoy reading it each time you post and have started to follow the bar you play at, on Twitter!!!


  5. Anonymous says:

    You & Joel remain among the most adventuresome pair I know. It’s great that you are still loving your new home in Panama and share such interesting pictures of your abode for all to see. It helps to get these visual images of life as you are living it day to day. Happy New Year to you both. Sally Reed


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