Pickles and Tea Adventures in Asian American Cooking

Tamarind-Lime Fizz Cocktail

We just came back from Denver, CO, where we spent Christmas with my husband’s family.

And no, we didn’t go skiing. (Everyone asks that question!)

Instead, we hung out with family, played card games, and ate plenty of nostalgic foods. My mother-in-law, Lisa, had spent the last week cooking and freezing breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for us. We had Lisa’s sausage bread two ways–with Italian sausage and breakfast sausage, hamburger-topped muffins, chicken enchiladas, Grandma Marion’s cottage cheese lasagna, pizzelles, white chocolate salties, etc., etc.

The one time we went out to eat, we had lunch at ChoLon Asian Bistro in downtown Denver. I read about their famed French onion soup dumplings earlier this year and have been wanting to go ever since.

The French onion soup dumplings were delish, as were the lobster banh xeo and Burmese salad. However, the one item I wanted to recreate was a lovely non-alcoholic tipple made with tamarind. I’ve never been a fan of the Mexican tamarindo agua fresca so I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. The combination of tart tamarind, citrusy lime and bubbles in this drink totally converted me!

I don’t drink much alcohol so I’m always on the lookout for fun virgin cocktails and sodas. As soon as I came home, I concocted my version of this tamarind-lime drink.

Why not serve it to your teetotalling friends at your New Year’s party? It’s going on my drinks list for sure! 



Tamarind pulp and lime juice add different tart notes to this fun bubbly.

At ChoLon Bistro, tamarind pulp and lime juice add different tart notes to this fun bubbly drink.

Tamarind-Lime Fizz
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
  2. ¼ cup granulated sugar
  3. ½ cup water, divided
  4. 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
  5. 4 cups (16 ounces) plain sparkling water
  6. Vodka or dark rum (if someone must have alcohol!)
  7. Lime slices for garnish
  1. Combine the tamarind pulp, sugar and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low. Stir and mash the tamarind until the sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and continue mashing the tamarind until as smooth as possible.
  2. Strain the liquid into a bowl (it’ll have the consistency of peach puree), mashing the pulp with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
  3. Return the strained pulp to the saucepan. Pour in another ¼ cup water and heat over medium- low heat. Repeat above.
  4. Strain the liquid into the same bowl. Squeeze in the lime juice and stir. You’ll have about 2/3 cup tamarind-lime syrup.
  5. Spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of the syrup into a fun cocktail glass. Pour in 1 cup cold sparkling water. Stir and taste. Add more syrup, lime juice, or vodka or dark rum, if desired, and garnish with lime slices. Repeat.
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For more info on tamarind, go here



  • Filed Under

    December 30, 2016
    Course-type    Drinks    
    • Posted By

      Born in Indonesia and raised in Singapore, Pat Tanumihardja writes about food, travel, and lifestyle through a multicultural lens. Pat especially enjoys covering topics that converge on food, history and culture and has been published in numerous international, national and regional publications. Her cookbook, The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook—Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens is a treasury of family recipes and stories spanning over a dozen Asian cultures.

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