Costa Rican Refresco Recipes from Florida

Dragged myself away from my cave and computer to glorious weather. Started watering thirsty plants and you know how one thing leads to another in the garden.

  • My mulberry tree is loaded with fruit. A couple of ripe little black jewels peeked out at me and popped right into my mouth. Yup, it is my favorite fruit; hairs, stem and all.
  •  The bougainvillea I just planted next to the walled garden has looked so dead. At close inspection, it’s covered with tiny buds. The way time is passing it’ll be climbing the wall with the others in no time.
  • While picking the last Meyer’s lemons, the scent of delicate new citrus blossoms drifted into my nostrils.
  • After sadly sifting the frozen buds of the mango through my fingers, I walk around the tree to find lots of live ones.
  • Riding my bike up to get the Sunday paper, I spy another young cyclist stealing carambolas off a neighbor’s tree. I almost join him. And that brings to mind the first recipe. One of my favorite drinks. Talk about refreshing!

Refresco of Carambola

4 – 6 carambolas make a  pitcher. Use lots of water to dilute this tart and tasty fruit.

  1. Cut off the ends and black edges of ripe fruit, and chop into chunks.
  2. Fill blender 3/4 full with fruit and 1/2 full with water. Blend on high.
  3. Push through a Costa Rican colander (fine sieve).
  4. Add water and sweetener (sugar or agave nectar) to taste.

And that leads to my other favorite.

Refresco of Jamaica (Roselle Hibiscus)

  1. Cover a large pot full of jamaica (roselle) bracts with water.  If you don’t have them in your garden in CR you can buy them in season (now) at the farmer’s market in Uvita.
  2. Bring to a boil. Turn to simmer for 45 min.
  3. Mash all the gorgeous red juice out of the soaked fruit through a CR colander and into a pitcher.
  4. One pint of concentrate makes a big pitcher of juice. Add water and sweetener to taste.
  5. You can freeze pint containers of concentrate for later.

Both of these drinks are loaded with Vit. C and jamaica has lots of calcium. Enjoy.