Santol Juice a la San Mateo

A young reader (below 10 years old) of Marketmanila asked how to make sanju1santol 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 simple…

I asked several people who were equally clueless re: santol juice. sanju2That is, until last night, when my wife’s relatives were over to dinner and one of them very quickly answered “yes, it’s really easy to make santol juice.” 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. That’s it. No mystery, no fuss.

The resulting juice is wonderful! It is light, refreshing and extremely reminiscent of all sanju3the 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 it… and it worked out really well. The next time you have some santol, check this juice out. I have no clue why restaurants don’t offer this on their menus…

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41 Responses

  1. Rose the cassava cake post is right below the santol juice. If you “miss” anything you can find it in the archives or in the most recent posts area on the right side of the site. Thanks!

  2. I haven’t had santol ade (that’s how my mom used to call it) in ages! My taste buds take me back many many years ago growing up surrounded by santol, macopa, langka and sampalok trees. Thanks, Marketman, I’m going to let my santol-loving daughter try this classic Pinoy juice today!

  3. oh my gosh, haven’t had this since high school! i like the santol chopped up in little bits, and enjoy the shockingly acidic pulp which i munch on as i drink the juice. mouthwatering!

  4. I’ve never heard of santol juice before — sounds refreshing. Although I’m a little averse to artificially sweetened fruit juices because of all the sugar required to make it drinkable.

  5. Oh goodness! Someone has been pestering me for ages to post this too. Being the rebel that I am, I keep on resisting though I already have the pictures.

    My lola used to prepare this on summer days. She’d chop the flesh into really small pieces, place it in a bowl with lots of ice. You can make a less sweet version which goes very well with steamed shrimps/prawns.

  6. hi marketman. something along the lines of santol juice would be kamias slushie. i’ve tried this and its very refreshing!

  7. Yes, I love the brightness and sourness of a kamias slushie. I first tried this at Cafe Bola and have not seen it anywhere else. If I see kamias in the market soon I will try it. It does have a TON of sugared water added though. Wysgal the santol juice doesn’t need that much sugar, actually. Good honey would work too. I am with you in that if it needs that much sugar, the underlying flavor gets lost.

  8. I found this recipe in Food Magazine and tried it. This recipetakes the guess work out of the coming up with the right proportions. The simple syrup is made by boiling together 1 part water to 2 parts sugar just until the sugar dissolves. Cool. This keeps well in the refrigerator.


    1/2 c water
    3/4 c simple sugar syrup
    1 1/2 c kamias, cleaned and sliced into rounds
    5 c coarsely crushed ice

    Mix together and process in a blender until the ice and kamias are finely crushed. Pour into 6 8 oz. glasses.

  9. Thank you so much for this. This entry made me miss my childhood. The last time I drank santol juice was way back in gradeschool I think. Eons ago. I miss those warm afternoons when I’d reach for a glass of santol juice and munch on the santol bits. Sigh.

  10. Marketman — I shared the santol juice recipe with a dear friend of mine who owns a farm in Tagaytay that has lotsa santol trees. She asked me back if I could get her a recipe of santol JAM. Help?

  11. this is great. . . since i am such a juice person, i will really enjoy this,i never heard it before.

    another thing I remember, when I was a kid my neighbor was making gumamela jam, i haven’t really tasted it but i think it is good. . .

  12. Toni, I gather you are not residing in the Philippines at the moment? Or if you do… rush out to the market and get two kilos of santol and make some of that juice!

    Gigi, I made santol jam last year but can’t find the recipe…actually, I describe the process under a post titled “santol” so if your friend is the adventurous type, she can give it a go without ingredient measurements… santol, sugar and water.

    Wilson, this juice is definitely worth trying. As for gumamela jam, I have heard of it but have never tasted it. Apparently it is made up in the Mt. Province as well.

  13. I first tried making Santol Preserves two years ago but the season ran out on me. Last year I made Santol Marmalade again and sent it to relatives in the U.S. They alsoloved it.
    This year I worked on the fruit again and learned how to make
    1) Santol Preserves for dessert, 2) Santol Beverage for a heavenly refreshment, 3) Santol Marmalade for snacks with crackers or pan de sal, and 4) Santol Jam for continental breakfast.

    I must say this fruit is very impressively versatile, useful for exotic dishes, preservable in many forms, and delicious even when eaten fresh, with or without rock salt.

  14. Gabby, would you be kind enough to share a recipe for your santol preserves or marmalade, readers are sending so many requests for these. Also, if you check out an earlier post on Marketmanila on santol, I have a bad photo of the santol jam I made last year but did it by feel, no recipe!

  15. I love this drink! But what I did was to chop the santol (not the white part) into tiny little cubes… ahh I miss these types of fruits.

  16. Diong – quite a few people prefer to chp this very finely. I think it’s a great idea as there is more surface area exposed and thus flavor seeps into water better. Also, some like to eat the little bits when they have finished the juice.

  17. Dear Marketman,
    I bought a kilo of native santol for just 10 bucks and couldn’t resist trying out your santol juice recipe,I didnt even add sugar (for diet reasons), the juice was really excellent. really thirst quenching and since the fruit was quite ripe its natural sweetness shone through.
    thanks for sharing this wonderful simple drink. More power to you!

  18. Marketman, I tried it and it’s so juicilicious.After the first juice i tried to soak again the santol for the 2nd time and malasa pa rin. but i wasn’t able to try it for the third time kc my daughter (angeli) is asking for the seeds. But she loves the juice also.My in-laws also like it very much.I have a great feeling at that time.
    Thanks and more power!!!

  19. we have a santol tree in our backyard older than me (i am 40 now) my father said its always been there as do the sampaloc and chico tree. this a very big tree and the sweetest santol i’ve ever tasted. maliliit lang siya and the seeds are not as fluffy as the bangkok santol. and its the first time i’ve heard of santol juice. puede din kaya yung frozen santol na nabibili dito sa us? try ko nga minsan.

  20. I remember my late mother doing the same to santol, but not as a drink but as a side dish when she’s eating anything fried, specially, tuyo. She would chop the santol and soak it in a little water with a dash of salt and sugar to taste. Then she would first sip the juice before using the santol meat and seeds.

  21. good afternoon, can you help us sir provide the process in making a kamias juice? because thats our thesis or feasibility study.. tnx sir..

  22. ricky, the only kamias juice I know is used in a fresh shake…try it at Cafe Bola. I don’t know how it is preserved. I also have previous posts on kamias, just search the archives. Thanks.

  23. WOW! What a great idea! I’ve bever tasted or heard of Santol Juice before and an a HUGE santol fan! I better give it a try. Are santols Currently in season?

  24. Reading this post on santol makes me a bit sentimental. It reminds me of my mother who passed away in 2003. She LOVED santol so much but had this weird habit of swallowing the seeds despite us telling her it was bad. She also loved eating ginataang santol which my best friend makes – iyong naglalangis ang gata which is perfect with steaming hot rice. I’m now drooling just thinking about it. I can’t wait for the santol season this August. I’m looking forward to going to my aunt’s farm in Indang, Cavite where she has lots of dwarf santol trees – the fruits are just within arms reach! Spent one of my birthday there and brought home sacks and sacks of santol which didn’t last too long with relatives asking for more!

  25. SimplePleasures, a few weeks to peak santol season… gansi, we used to have a huge bangkok santol tree in our Q.C. home…

  26. wow! thanks for this recipe. we have a bangkok santol tree at the back of the house and right now its bearing more fruit than we know what to do with. i’ve already made a large batch of candied santol based on your recipe. and now this.

    you are such a great source of ideas!


  27. that is a better way of making it. I used to puree the santol pieces. still tasted good but too lumpy.
    thanks for the advise.
    i’ve been craving for santol for a while now.

  28. I usually do this with sampalok. Now why didn’t I think of doing this with santol? This is just brilliant. I’m going to walk to the market now and buy lots of santol. Thanks MM.

  29. your posts really bring back a lot of happy childhood memories mm. my nanay (aunt) used to serve santol juice when i was still a little girl. she’s not fond of instant foods and really went out of her way to make things from scratch like her homemade sardines and turon with green mongo filling. another refreshing drink she used to serve is melon tagalog juice.

  30. Made this last night and it really is good.. Told my grandma to taste it but she said that she actually used to make one before, but not anymore because it makes her.. err.. constipated.. but it really is good..

  31. i have 4 pailsof santol harvested yesterday dunno what to do with it..thanks for posting ..aside from eating as it is or making santol candy..i found another option thanks.

  32. I love this thirst quenching santol-ade very much. But my problem is how to easily take off the sticky mess on ones fingers after its preparation.

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