During the first four times I lived in Vietnam, I rarely, if ever, saw passionfruit juice (nước chanh leo) offered on a drinks menu. Until my latest move to Vietnam, my experience with passionfruit came in horrible packaged teas and not very decent passionfruit cheesecakes. I remember buying passionfruit from a roadside fruitstand on the North Shore of Oahu once, too, and then wondering what I was supposed to do with it when I got it home. I tried to eat it straight, only to find it was so sour that I couldn’t get much of it down. I gave up on passionfruit before I should have. And I say this because in Vietnam, when it’s sweltering out, there is nothing, and I mean nothing in this world, that is more refreshing than a glass of passionfruit juice (but remember to mention “no seeds, please,” or "xin không hạt").
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for blow-you-away passionfruit juice. And here’s hoping you can get fresh passionfruit wherever you live…
Step 1: Cut two passionfruits in half (as in the photo above).
Step 2: Use a spoon to scoop the fruits' innards into a strainer, which should be held, obviously, over a cup or glass.
Step 3: After the straining is complete, pour about 4 tablespoons of hot water over the passionfruit that remains in the strainer, then stir this to make sure that all the juice is removed.
Step 4: Stir 3 tablespoons of sugar into the cup of pure passionfruit juice.
Step 5: Fill the cup or mug with cold water (enough to serve two people).
Step 6: Divide the juice into glasses and add ice.