Papaya and Lemongrass frappé

by Dr. Hennie Fisher – University of Pretoria

One has to pace oneself carefully to avoid getting brain-freeze with this drink, which is perfect for a hot African summer’s day. It is the best non-alcoholic (see the note on bitters) grown-up party drink around. Apart from the fact that it is super healthy, it packs a satisfactory punch and will certainly aid in relieving hunger pangs should one be trying to cut back a bit. The small amount of honey adds a little luxury, while the lemon grass adds some zing and interest.

The often-contentious website Wikipedia says that a frappé (sometimes also written as frappe, without an accent) is a Greek iced coffee made with instant coffee, water, sugar, and milk, having been invented through experimentation by Dimitris Vakondios, a Nescafe representative, in 1957 in Thessaloniki. Wikipedia continues that frappés are among the most popular forms of coffee in Greece and Cyprus, having become a hallmark of the postwar Greek coffee culture. However, the origins and distinctive features of a fruit frappé are slightly less certain. Although some recipes mention a dairy product such as milk or yoghurt while others do not, everyone agrees that the ultimate frappé should be made with a copious amount of crushed ice.

Ingredients for two to three substantial drinks, or four smaller slightly more elegant drinks:

500 g ripe, deliciously sweet papaya, peeled
40 g honey
40 ml fresh lemon juice
12 g fresh lemon grass, finely chopped
Splash of bitters (optional)
350 g ice cubes


Blend all the ingredients apart from the ice in a large jug liquidizer until it is super fine and smooth. Have ready some chilled serving glasses with an additional stalk of lemon grass that can act as a stirrer. Add the ice to the purée and blitz on high until the ice is smooth, but in no way starts melting. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of edible flowers as garnish.