Calamansi Juice (Filipino Lemonade)

Calamansi Juice (Filipino Lemonade)

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my dad is an avid gardener.  Growing up, he introduced me to all sorts of gardening know-how, from how to deal with weeds to when to pick fruits.  Ever since he has retired, his garden has multiplied and flourished.  He has all sorts of fruit trees thriving in the backyard: Fuji apples, persimmons, avocados, pomelos.

But one tree that bears fruit all year long- the calamansi tree, better known in America as calamondin.

Calamansi Juice (Filipino Lemonade)Calamansi (also spelled kalamansi) is used extensively in Filipino cooking– it’s 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.  I’ve heard people use it as a whitener for dark knees and elbows and as an alternative to bleach for lightening hair.

Calamansi Juice

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.

The photo above only shows a quarter of what my dad and I harvested that particular day.  His calamansi tree bares this much fruit all year long, which makes him pretty popular among my mom’s cooking friends.

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 would make me calamansi tea (calamansi juice warmed up) when 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)

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Calamansi Juice (Filipino Lemonade)

Calamansi Juice is the Filipino version of lemonade and limeade. It is super refreshing and best served ice cold.

Yield: about 1 quart

Author Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed calamansi juice, discard seeds and skin
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 -1 cup simple syrup, depending on desired sweetness
  • ice, to serve

Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. In a pitcher, combine calamansi juice, water, and 3/4 cup simple syrup. Stir to combine. Store in fridge until chilled.

  2. Stir before serving. Serve with ice. Add more water or simple syrup to your liking.

Simple Syrup:

  1. 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.

Recipe Notes

Since I like to serve calamansi juice with a lot of ice, I keep my recipe a little on the tart/sour side.  As the ice melts, the calamansi juice won't get watered down. 

Calamansi Juice (Filipino Lemonade)

Calamansi Juice (FIlipino Lemonade)

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Comments

Ace (@toastedsprinkle)

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!

    Maryanne Cabrera

    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 :)

Denise M

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!

john knight

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.

Naadia

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”!!

Anna

You have wonderful information regarding Calamansi..It’s nice to read them. Thanks for sharing..

Cameron

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.

Brett

Hey there,

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?

Thank You!

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Hi Brett! That sounds like a terrific idea! I think the calamansi juice would work well with a sparkling wine.

Tim Perry

Hey Maryanne,

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.

Thank you!
Tim Perry

    Maryanne Cabrera

    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.