limeade with ice in a glass next to a whole lime on a wooden surface


close-up photo of H. Weal, co-author of The Weal MealThough typically regarded as a summertime drink, limeade has become a year-round staple in my house. For the past six years, not a week has gone by when we haven’t had a full pitcher of the stuff in our refrigerator. It’s a nostalgia thing. For me, it brings back childhood memories of rolling lemons for my mom’s homemade lemonade every summer. For my husband, it reminds him of childhood summers spent visiting family in Puerto Rico, drinking fresh limeade made from the lime trees that grew on his grandfather’s property. The first few attempts at our own version replicated the cloyingly sweet taste of many bottled drinks – delicious, but nearly prompting an urge for a drink of water afterwards. So, we reduced the sugar in each subsequent batch, until we hit upon an amount that made the limeade taste light and refreshing. When limes aren’t in season, we switch to bottled unsweetened lime juice. It’s not quite the same, as it is missing the yummy little wisps of lime pulp, but it still produces a clean-tasting, satisfying limeade. — H. Weal

1 pound limes (about 6)
2/3 cups sugar
7 1/2 cups water

paring knife
citrus squeezer or juicer
2-quart pitcher
measuring cups
whisk or mixing spoon

1. Halve and juice limes.
2. Combine lime juice and sugar in pitcher. Stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Add water.
4. Refrigerate until chilled, or serve over ice.

• If using bottled unsweetened lime juice, check that the ingredient list does not include lime oil, which tends to make the juice taste more like floor cleaner than fruit.
• 1 pound of limes yields about 1/2 cup lime juice
• If using a beverage container with a leak-proof top, forgo stirring – just seal tightly and shake vigorously to dissolve sugar.
BONUS RECIPE: Lemonade: Replace lime juice with lemon juice.

5 minutes

8 servings

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