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.
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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.
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!