Blueberry Limonada

This blueberry limonada is inspired by chicha morada—a traditional Peruvian drink that families from Lima to the Andes mountains make with a purple corn elixir and lime juice that is sweetened and spiced with fruit peel and cinnamon. Corn is one of the primary foods that my Inca ancestors cultivated, and purple corn is rich in antioxidants. I now live in Oregon, so I wanted to make a drink that honored chicha morada but with local ingredients. Here, blueberries are native to the Pacific Northwest, have the same deep purple color as the corn in chicha morada, and are also rich in antioxidants. The aromatics in chicha morada are infused into the syrup with cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel. The vibrant color of the drink celebrates the summer seaon, and the garnish of a lime round, fresh mint, and blueberries on a toothpick gives the drink a cocktail vibe.

Blueberry Limonada

Serves 1

Blueberry Purée

  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup water

Spiced Syrup

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • peel from half and orange


  • 2 ounces blueberry purée
  • 1 ounce spiced syrup
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce water
  • ice
  • lime round, for garnish
  • mint sprig, for garnish
  • blueberries on a toothpick, for garnish

For the blueberry purée, in a tall container, combine ½ cup fresh blueberries from your local farmers market with ½ cup water. Blend with an immersion blender and pass through a fine mesh strainer into a mason jar. Compost the leftover skin.

For the spiced syrup, in a saucepan over medium to high heat, combine ½ cup water, ½ cup cane sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, and the peel from half an orange. Bring to a gentle boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to let the spices infuse in the liquid. Remove from the heat, strain into a mason jar, and let cool before using. Compost the cinnamon stick, cloves, and orange peel.

For the limonada, in an 8 ounce mason jar, combine the blueberry purée, syrup, lime juice, and water. Stir to mix well. Fill the mason jar with ice and garnish with a lime round, mint spring, and blueberries on a toothpick.