Calamansi Juice is the Filipino version of lemonade and limeade. It is super refreshing and best served ice cold.
My dad was an avid gardener. My childhood home bloomed with a variety of fruit trees including: Fuji apples, persimmons, avocados, and pomelos.
But one tree that gave fruit all year long- the calamansi tree, better known in America as calamondin.
What is Calamansi Fruit?
Calamansi (also spelled kalamansi) is used extensively in Filipino cooking
It is squeezed on pancit noodles, used a marinade for meats, and used to make desserts.
It also has multiple purposes outside of the kitchen as well.
Some people use it as a whitener for dark spots on knees and elbows. It’s also as an alternative to bleach for lightening hair.
Calamansi is a citrus fruit similar to lemon and limes.
It is often called calamondin in America.
The calamansi starts off as a green fruit and slowly turns yellow-orange as it matures on the tree.
You can use it at either stage. Regardless of the skin color, the juice will be very tart.
How to make Calamansi Juice (Filipino Lemonade)
Calamansi juice is excellent with honey and sugar.
It is pretty similar to lemonade and just as refreshing.
It tastes like a lemonade-limeade hybrid, but more tropical and aromatic.
My parents would make me calamansi honey ginger tea whenever I had a sore throat as a kid.
And for as long as I can remember, I’ve been making calamansi juice ever summer.
Calamansi Juice (Filipino Lemonade)
- 1 cup fresh squeezed calamansi juice, discard seeds and skin
- 2 cups water
- ¾ -1 cup simple syrup, depending on desired sweetness
- ice, to serve
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- In a pitcher, combine calamansi juice, water, and 3/4 cup simple syrup. Stir to combine. Store in fridge until chilled.
- Stir before serving. Serve with ice. Add more water or simple syrup to your liking.
- In a sauce pot, bring water and sugar to a boil until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Store excess syrup in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.
Reader Questions and Reviews
Oh this looks yummy! Are the rinds anything like kumquats? Are they edible too? I just discovered kumquats on my latest trip to California and I’m constantly hunting for them. I think they need something to mellow out their sour flavor though and I haven’t quite figured it out yet. Super jealous of that garden, it sounds amazing!
Yes, the rinds are similar in thickness to kumquats. However, you can’t eat the rinds of calamansi. Candied kumquats are really tasty! Yes, I’m jealous of my dad’s garden, too. One day my thumb will turn green :)
We recently moved into a home with two of these trees in the backyard. The previous owner said his wife would always make the best citrus-ade, but he couldn’t remember the name of the trees. With a little research I came across your recipe. I immediately went out and harvested enough for a double batch. It is simply amazing!!! And to think for the last six months I’ve been letting the bugs/birds have all they want!! Never again will they go to waste!
Two calamansi (calamondin) trees?! That’s awesome! :)
Calamansi skins can be eaten.
Just back from a trip to Singapore, the Calamansi skin was added with green chili as a condiment in our deep fried squid/calamari.
When we inquired if the green citrus with the green chili was Kumquat the chef brought us a fruit and explained it was called Calamans.
we then discovered it in another dish at Raffles the next day.
The house I lived in previously had a tree and I used to enjoy a glass (or more) of this juice daily. Since we’ve moved that hasn’t been the case, but thankfully the fruits are readily available at markets! Absolutely refreshing juice! I never knew what they were called, until I read your post! I used to remember them as “little oranges”!!
You have wonderful information regarding Calamansi..It’s nice to read them. Thanks for sharing..
This recipe is a bit old but I just wanted to say that you CAN eat the rinds. I’m going to be making candied calamansi rinds pretty soon, actually. You can even use the leftover simple syrup for this recipe to make the candied rinds.
So I think I’m going to try to integrate this with a bubbly and try to make a wine spritzer out of it. Have you done this? I feel like a dry prosecco or even a Vinho Verde / Txakolina would work well with this. Any thoughts or suggestions?
Hi Brett! That sounds like a terrific idea! I think the calamansi juice would work well with a sparkling wine.
I did a search for calamansi and your blog came up. I have heard that this fruit has a lot of healing properties. I live in Los Angeles (West Hollywood) and wondered it you knew where in this area can you buy this fruit.
Any information would be very helpful.
Depending on the season, you may be able to find the fresh fruits at Asian supermarkets or speciality Filipino markets. You can also purchase calamansi fruit trees are numerous nurseries around LA/OC area.
Yes. I love calamansi lemonade! I used to drink it often when I was very young and living in the Philippines. Now my friend who has relatives in California brings them back to Utah and shares them with me. I wish it were more readily available everywhere; however, since it only grows in tropical-like places, I am fortunate to have them from her whenever she returns from CA. Definitely a great drink for colds or sore throats as well.
I am da filipino and i love calamansi juice.
I squeeze mine into soda water using my sodas stream – best drink – no sugar – not needed for a refreshing drink
Thank you for your very informative blog. I’d like to know if the yellow lemons that grow abroad ( USA, Australia, etc ) are planted the same way ( in terms of technique ) as our native calamansi. Would you know?
I have grown my own calamansi trees from seed. It is planted the same way you would care for other citruses.
Do you have a recipe for Calamansi Vinegar (or vinegar infused with it). I put in a tree this year and it has been bearing fruit. Calamansi vinegar is available to purchase online but cost $50 a bottle – ouch! So I am looking to make my own.
Hi! Unfortunately, I don’t have a recipe for that. I’ve never heard of calamansi vinegar!
my husband and I had a Nursery in Alaska and we grew and sold Calamondin trees, as houseplants and to grow in greenhouses. the fruit, chopped with peeles but seeds removed makes the best marmalade. I used an orange marmalade recipe.
That’s awesome! I didn’t know it could grow as houseplants! Yes, calamondin makes wonderful marmalade. I wish I had some right now!
I live in Yucca Valley, CA and would like to know where I could purchase the fruit
Filipino supermarkets or large Asian supermarkets. You can also try local nurseries that specialize in fruit trees.