Lasang Pinoy 11: Summertime Coolers and Memories of Summer



Lasang Pinoy 11 has a theme that’s close to every Pinoy’s heart.  Summer was always a great time to just enjoy being a kid. I decided to finally feautre a family favorite from my dad’s side of the family.  He remembered it was usually served warm but my mother decided it was too refreshing and made it a very cold drink and this is how I remember it.  Maybe you can try and guess what it is from the photo above, before moving to the next page…

A lot of our childhood summers were spent at a private beach that belonged to a maternal relative.  The only “facility” in this private strip of beach tucked below the national highway from Olongapo City to the town of Subic was an old water pump, an enclosed toilet and a bathing area next to the toilet, no plumbing whatsoever.  I’m sure you can clearly see this in your head if you’re a true Pinoy.  We had free access to this beach year round and the caretaker would be waiting for us even without prior notice (or so I thought).  Surprisingly, I cannot recall ever sharing our time there with any other of our Zambales relations…

So it was, my cousins and I had the beach all to ourselves.  We would stay out in the water and we turned darker as the day wore on.  No admonition from our mothers would get us out of there….we had our best playmates, the sand and the water, our incongruously large “salbabida” that we all tried to fit into – at once – and the glorious sun on our little faces.

The ride home to Quezon City was always torture because our clothes were rubbing on our sunburns.  I can still remember how that feels and how excited I would get when the sunburn was starting to peel after a week.  There was never time to heal enough before school started cause we would go back to the beach in Calapacuan, Subic every chance we got.  I’d always go back to school brown as a monkey…but happy as a clam.

Back to my featured summertime cooler, it’s a cucumber, pinpig and coconut milk concoction which I haven’t encountered elsewhere.  It’s refreshing, different and a perfect thirst-quencher on a hot summer day in the tropics.

We would stop whatever game we were playing with our neighbors or cousins to have this PPG (pipino, pinpig, gata) quencher.  You had to have it soon as it was ready lest the toasted pinipig became soggy. The contrast of the crispy pinpig and the soft cucumber strips is my most vivid memories of this drink which I’ll name after my father.

Unfortuantely for me, the only pinipig available at the Filipino Sari Sari Store was the same Vietnamese pinipig I featured in an earlier post.  Rather than spoil the whole thing, I went ahead and substituted the pinipig with some crushed cornflakes to simulate the crunch and added just a dash of vanilla.  It’s not the same thing of course.  Good pinipig has this delicate, sweet aroma and flavor, almost like vanilla.  I love the subtlety of that pinipig flavor, only the fresh ones have it of course.  If pinipig is not used right after processing, it loses that delicate flavor pretty fast.

Hope you get a chance to try this with good pinipig grains someday..but if you’re in a pinch, try cornflakes or rice crispies.

Leonardo Quencher

1 cucumber

2 tbsps. pinpig/cornflakes or rice crispies

1 c. fresh coconut milk, diluted with water on a ratio of 1:1

sugar, to taste

dash of vanilla

plenty of ice

Prepare the cucumber by cutting it in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds and grating the meat into strips. If you don’t have the Philippine grater we use for these things, peel your cucumber, cuti in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  The grate into strips with your regular cheese grater. Set aside in the refrigerator.

In a hot pan, add a bit of cooking oil, toast the pinipig until it just starts to brown.  Set aside to cool.

In a tall glass, stir in the sugar and dash of vanilla with the coconut milk and stir.  Mix in the cucumber strips then add plenty of crushed ice.  Top with the toasted pinpig/cornflakes/rice crispies.

Serve with a straw and a long-handled sundae spoon. Serves 2.

TIP:  I used a blender to combine the coconut milk, sugar and ice and made it a frothy drink just this once.   Oh, and I served it in a “sexy” glass…I hope no one from the family objects!

12 Replies to “Lasang Pinoy 11: Summertime Coolers and Memories of Summer”

  1. i knew it! up until now i was thinking of the name my mom used to call this drink or something similar to this! guinumis or something…hahaha though i don’t remember it having cucumber…it has gata and the pinipig..but we use the fresh ones! i can just smell those fresh green pinipig grains!
    never had the chance to ask her the recipe, this was also supposed to be my entry! thanks to you, it’s like i had a glass too from this oh-so refreshing drink!

  2. Mita, what a great and refreshing idea for a drink! My daughter has been into making drinks with cucumber, so will surely be trying this out too. Thanks for submitting this post for Lasang Pinoy 🙂

  3. Ces, what a coincidence! I like ginunmis too. I’d love to know if this really has a name all its own. I don’t even know its origin, maybe Nueva Ecija where my dad’s family is from but I’m just guessing. Try the cucumber, it’s very refreshing. I beleive fresh pinipig is the original and I’ve had it that way too.
    The popping noises of the toasted pinipig when you add it is fun for a kid and maybe that’s why we did it that way…

    JMom, my pleasure. I hope your daughter likes this recipe and will enjoy it like I did as a kid. She can go wild and flavor it with different syrups – that should be really yummy for the younger ones.

  4. actually, our dad used the freshly pounded, young, green pinipig for this drink. i guess mita’s memory of it is a little fuzzy. he also never used the first squeezed coconut milk – i believe that was reserved for something else. he would add water to the grated coconut and then would use a “katsa” kitchen towel to squeeze out the “coconut water” base for this drink.

  5. hello darlene, thanks for dropping by..try it, it’s good and a cinch to make really.

    yes, I remember…that’s why the recipe calls for diluted coconut milk. I remember we also used toasted pinipig and I always prefered it that way cause I liked the crunch and the pop when you put it in last…

  6. Wow i’ve been searching to this recipe for so long. I vividly remember the taste its so refreshing likewise my mother used to prepare that on summer season especially holy week… Thanks for posting im so happy na finally nahanap ko na ang recipe di ko rin alam anong pangalan ng recipe. Can’t wait to prepare that…

  7. My lolo used to make this kind of drink specially during sleepovers at their house with my cousins. I’ve been looking for this recipe for a long time and thanks to you! It really brings back memories…

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