Mango Lemonade Recipe
Stepping into Waimea is like walking into an old western town with a twist. On our drive, we were amazed at the lush green grass that grew to belly height to feed the thousands of (very happy) cattle dotting the fields of Kohala Mountain. When we visited Parker Ranch, we learned that the herds in the region started with just five head of cattle given to King Kamehameha I in 1788. The king released the cows and declared them off limits. Over the next 20 years, the herd multiplied and began causing major disruption until King Kamehameha gave John Palmer Parker the rights to begin shooting the unruly cattle shortly after the War of 1812. Parker began supplying meat and hides for both island and foreign use and within one year, salted beef became Hawaii’s primary export.
As Parker’s landholdings and herds grew, the new king Kamehameha II invited Spanish speaking cowboys from California to the island. The “paniolos” were asked to help train the Hawaiians to rope and handle the cattle. Like Parker, the paniolos adapted to Hawaiian life and the locals embraced their colorful culture, family values, music and hard work that still permeates the region today. Every week on Saturday from 7-12, the Waimea Homestead Farmer’s Market opens with regional farmers fresh fruits & veggies, food trucks and artists. We visited several markets during our 2 week stay and this was our absolute favorite.
The sweetest family set up a lemonade tent featuring fresh squeezed lemonade in large Mason jars. Sounds good, right? But what made drinking lemonade even better than sipping it in Hawaii was how the owners would add freshly pureed island fruit like papaya, pineapples and, of course, mango to the sweet beverage. They then added crushed ice and supplied Ball Mason leak-proof lids for us to shake up our drinks as we shopped. We loved it so much we had to make a second trip around for refills!
After coming back home to beautiful Ohio, my husband and I were eating dinner one night with our usual lemon-only lemonade and talking about how much we enjoyed our tasty treat in Waimea. I decided to try something here at home and, after a few tweaks, came up with this extremely easy mainland version of Mango Lemonade.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and would love to hear how yours turns out!
P.S. For more island fun, be sure to check out the Aloha Spirit Collection! Like the mango lemonade we ‘brought home,’ I created three beautiful color options to celebrate this beautiful place.