A young reader (below 10 years old) of Marketmanila asked how to make santol juice a few weeks ago. While I had heard about the wonderful qualities of santol juice, I had never tasted the stuff and had no clue how to make it. Was it some complicated process of santol infusion into hot or warm water that was then strained? Did I have to mash the skin and pulp and mix with water and later strain out the solids? Did I need baskets full of fruit and pass it through a commercial juicer to extract some critical essence of santol? How would the astringency of the pulp do in a juice like concoction? And finally, why the heck had I never come across this before when I am such a santol fanatic? Well, as with many questions in life, the answer was amazingly simpleâ€¦
I asked several people who were equally clueless re: santol juice. That is, until last night, when my wifeâ€™s relatives were over to dinner and one of them very quickly answered â€œyes, itâ€™s really easy to make santol juice.â€ So this morning, I purchased several kilos of premium Bangkok santol in the market and set out to make my first pitcher of the santol juice. The results were simply stunning! Many thanks to the folks from San Mateo, Rizal who shared this amazingly simple juice method with me. Peel 3 or 4 large ripe santol. Slice up the skin into medium sized slices and maximize the skin surface area that is exposed. Put all the santol pieces and seeds into a nice big pitcher (preferably glass). Add either some good honey or sugared water to taste. Fill with drinkable water and let this concoction steep in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving. Thatâ€™s it. No mystery, no fuss.
The resulting juice is wonderful! It is light, refreshing and extremely reminiscent of all the best qualities of the fruit. There is no astringency in the juice yet the essence of santol is very apparent. This would be perfect on a hot summer day. I was so taken aback by the taste that I have consumed 5-6 glasses in less than 8 hours! Once the pitcher is half-full just add more water and stir a bit and let it steep some more. The santol will naturally brown as the peel oxidizes or whatever chemistry takes place. The juice is a very light caramel color almost like a diluted clear apple juice. I decided to put more fruit rather than less as I wanted to serve this over ice cubes which might dilute itâ€¦ and it worked out really well. The next time you have some santol, check this juice out. I have no clue why restaurants donâ€™t offer this on their menusâ€¦