Walk into any of the hundreds of authentic Latin American restaurants that dot Miami, and you're bound to find a variety of drinks you've never come across. In the Peruvian spot,s you'll find Cusqueña and possibly even pisco. The Venezuelan joints almost always serve Cerveza Polar and a few native sodas. Even at Sabores Chilenos, hidden in a corner of Sweetwater, you'll find Chilean wines, mote con huesillos, and many of that country's other favorite drinks.
The next time you find yourself in a Colombian spot and are hankering for arepas, ajiaco, or maybe a cup of coffee, do yourself the favor of scouring the menu for jugo de lulo. Colombian restaurants may not be hard to find throughout Dade, but this national favorite that's a perfect cure for the summertime heat isn't as easy to come by stateside.
Jugo de lulo is made with solanum quitoense, known as either naranjilla or lulo, depending upon the region of South America. A member of the nightshade family, along with tomatillos and gooseberries, the fruit has a thin skin and is full of tart, seed-filled flesh that tastes like a cross of sour orange laced with green apple.
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Throughout Colombia, you can find the fruit mashed up with ice, some sugar, lime, and a dash of water, known as lulada. In Miami, though, luladas are almost as difficult to find as lulo itself. Here, the fruit comes as a purée and is typically sold frozen at Latin grocers.
On Calle Ocho, San Pocho serves an ice-cold jugo de lulo, or lulo juice, more like a smoothie than a fruit juice. Pale orange in color, the drink is sweet and refreshing, just what the doctor ordered for the 90-plus-degree days that are already becoming the norm. For about $6, you can have an arepa con queso and a jugo — a great midday snack.
Do you have a favorite spot for jugo de lulo? Let us know!