Refresh your summer days with this sour and sweet, cooling Champola de tamarindo or Jugo de tamarindo, our favorite tamarind drink. Easy to make, with only three ingredients, and a favorite with kids and adults, it's perfect with your meals or as the afternoon merienda.
Why we ❤️ it
One of the things I love the most about living in a tropical climate is that we have many Dominican fruits available year-round. And we have figured out how to make delectable fruit juices from nearly all of them.
Grab a pitcher of our amazing tamarind drink, and enjoy one of our favorite tropical drinks.
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) is a large tree related to beans. Its fruit grows in a bean-pod-like brown outer shell. Inside the tamarind pod, the brown fruit has several hard black pits and fibrous strings that hold them together. Tamarind is originally from tropical Africa and is now very popular in Latin America.
Jugo de tamarindo (tamarind juice) and tamarind pods
This lovely sweet and sour drink can be served alongside an afternoon merienda (snack) with some Arepitas de maíz, a slice of sweet arepa, or savory arepa. It also goes great with a Yaniqueque, Quipe, or empanada de yuca. You can also serve it with a sandwich for a light dinner. It's also a great drink to cool down on a hot day and the perfect substitute for soda and soft drinks.
For a no-sugar-added version: Use an equivalent amount of your favorite sweetener instead of sugar.
About our recipe
There's minimal variation in the way most Dominicans prepare this juice, so it's not likely that you'll find very different versions, but if you know of any, I'd love to hear it.
Check the other Dominican juice recipes that we also recommend you try.
This awesome free recipe contains Amazon affiliate links, we receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
[Recipe + Video] Jugo de Tamarindo (Tamarind Drink)
- Soak the tamarind in 8 cups of water [1.5 liters] overnight in a large pot or bowl.
- Strain the tamarind with a fine mesh strainer submerged in the liquid, and crush the fruit with a spatula or fork to remove as much of the pulp as possible.Discard the solids.
- Add extra water if you find it too strong or acidic. Add sugar to taste. Serve with ice.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.
Champola, jugo or mabí
The most common name for this drink in the Dominican Republic is jugo de tamarindo, but both champola de tamarindo and mabí de tamarindo are names I have heard, which you can see confirmed in the references at the end [3, 4, 5, 6, 7].
Tamarind is rich in Vitamin B1, iron, and magnesium, and a small amount of Vitamin C. Tamarind is widely considered to help with sleep and to have a minor laxative effect with excess consumption . Tamarind is also rich in antioxidants and very low in carbohydrates.
Tamarind juice, also known as champola de tamarindo o jugo de tamarindo, it's a juice made by dissolving the tamarind pulp in water, sweetened and served chilled or with ice. It's called agua fresca de tamarindo (tamarind water) in Mexico.
The word for tamarindo in English is tamarind. It is called tamón in parts of the West Indies.
To make tamarind juice, the tamarind pulp is soaked in water until it dissolves, leaving behind the seeds, threads, and seed coating. It is then strained and sweetened. If you are using fresh pods, you must remove the hard shell first.
Tamarind can be bought as fresh fruit, peeled tamarind pods, the pulp (peeled tamarinds with seeds), or tamarind paste. Outside of its growth area, it's more likely to find frozen pulp or paste in supermarkets. You can buy tamarind fruit for the tamarind drink recipe on Amazon.
The tamarind flavor ranges from sweet and sour to lime juice sour. The more ripe the fruit is, the sweeter it will be, but it varies from tree to tree.
- Carlos Esteban Deive, Diccionario de Dominicanismos. 2nd edition. Sto. Dgo: Ed. Lib. La Trinitaria, 2002.
- Tamarindus Indica. Purdue University
- "[...] después de culminar tu suculento almuerzo, acompañado de una champola de tamarindo, zassss, caes rendido en un sueño profundo."
Luís Rosario, Listín Diario. 18 mayo 2021
- "Todo, sin olvidar una champola de tamarindo que refresca los ardores [...]"
Ligia Minaya, Diario Libre, 6 dic 2008
- "[...] haz una limonada y no quieras una champola de tamarindo o un jugo de chinola o un mabí.
Juan Freddy Armando, Periódico Hoy. 15 ago 2005
- "[...] tamarindo (Tamarindus indica, L.) fruta que la gran mayoría del dominicano ha probado de alguna manera, fresca, en champolas o jugos, bolas de tamarindo, etc."
Emilio Armando Olivo, Listín Diario. 23 may 2008
- "[...] está el mabí, que se puede hacer de frutas, como limón, tamarindo, naranja o de pulpa de palma, conocido como cacheo, y un clásico: el mabí de bejuco indio."
Revista Acento, 22 mar 2021
Published Jul 30, 2004, revised