Spring is here and along with the warm weather begins the quest for refreshing drinks. Lemonade is a staple drink to always fall back upon. However, there are other thirst quenching options available as well.
Pomelos or grapefruit are excellent to slake your thirst. Oranges are plentiful in this season. The latest drink to join the thirst-quenchers’ gang is Buko juice. Buko stands for ‘young coconut’ in Filipino. The white edible flesh of a coconut is the endosperm which develops over a period of time as the coconut matures on the tree. A young coconut has lots of water or buko juice and the white flesh is just a small rim around the periphery. This juice is naturally sweet and is highly nutritious as well. Buko juice is advised for people suffering from urinary tract infections. Buko juice can help to recover from dehydration resulting from diahrrea as well.
In India and South East Asian countries, buko juice is commonly sold on street corners. A coconut vendor will break open a tender coconut for you on the spot and offer refreshing buko juice.
In the United States, coconuts are available in Asian stores. Here’s a special buko juice recipe to try out at home.
Minty Buko Thirst Buster
One or two green coconuts from the Asian store. Alternatively, buko juice packaged in tetrapaks and disposable bottles can be bought as well.
A handful of mint leaves
Sugar- 1-2 tsp per glass, as preferred
A pinch of salt
A one-inch long piece of ginger, grated
You will also require a sharp machete to break open the coconuts. A pair of thick rubber kitchen gloves would also be handy.
Hold the coconut with the stalk end facing upwards. This end usually has a triangular shape. Follow the shape of the coconut and slice it along the sides to make a pyramid-like point on the top. Take care to slice AWAY from your body. Use an upward stroke to slice the top. Coconut hull breaks away in sharp splinters and you would not want to have one lodged in your face. Wearing gloves is also a good idea. If you have bought packaged buko juice, then just cut open a pack and strain it into a glass.
Slice off the top of the cone you have ceated. The flat surface of the coconut can be pierced with a knife.
Drain the buko juice into a container through a sieve. This yields clear buko juice without coconut fibres.
Cut the coconut into two halves by slicing from the top to the bottom. This allows you to access the tender coconut flesh. Scoop it out and chop into small pieces.
In a tall glass, add the strained buko juice. Stir in a tsp of sugar.
Wash and roughly chop four or five mint leaves. Add to the glass of buko juice. You can also add a small pinch of grated ginger to the buko juice.
Drop in a couple of ice cubes and a few pieces of chopped tender coconut and your special buko juice is ready!
Buko juice can be kept in the fridge for four to five hours. It is best enjoyed fresh.
- For a variation, you can also add a quarter glass of coconut milk per glass of buko juice.