Limes are cheap right now, lets make something refreshing on these hot summer days.
Let’s be honest. We’ve all tried to make lemonade as a kid thinking about opening a lemonade stand and it didn’t taste like the lemonade you got at the market or a Hot Dog on a Stick. It would taste bitter instead of sour, so you’d compensate by dumping a ton of sugar to finally make it drinkable. I think I got that worked out.
We normally think a limeade or lemonade recipe would be as follows: Slice up a bunch of limes or lemons and dump it in water and add a ton of sugar. We’ve done it wrong for too long!
This recipe takes a bit more work, but uses way less sugar.
Limeade (Serves 5-6) Prep time 20 minutes
Limes: 6-8 of them. Enough for 2/3 to 1 cup juice.
Water: 6 cups
Sugar: 1 cup
Before you juice up the limes, clean and zest them. Reserve the juice and zest.
With a cup of water and sugar make a simple syrup. A simple syrup is usually equal parts water and sugar, but you can use less sugar ratio too. I mostly use 1/2 sugar to 1 part water for my own tastes. Heat on medium until it starts to boil. When it starts to boil, add the zest and juice and allow it to come to boil again. Stir for 2-3 minutes to extract the oil from the zest and merge with the syrup and juice. Turn off the heat, strain the zest, and combine with the remaining 5 cups of water into a pitcher or beverage container. Stir to combine. From there you can serve on ice, or put into the fridge to chill.
The reason I zest the limes is strictly for the oils. Those oils help give it a sweetness and citrus taste and aroma. What sets it apart from the old “lemonade stand” recipe and this one is the removal of the pith (white spongy part of the citrus). The pith makes the whole thing bitter. I’ve talked about in my Coca Cola with lemon recipe.
Now pour yourself a glass and enjoy the summer.