Although a popular beverage in the summertime, I enjoy a lemonade during any season. What I like even more than lemonade is limeade. The lime flavor adds an extra twist that lemonade doesn't have. I usually just squeeze limes and mix with sugar and water while tasting to determine quantities, but I've finally worked out the right proportions for a concentrated limeade syrup that can be refrigerated or frozen. Just add water to serve!
Maybe it's because lemonade is so readily available that causes the less popular limeade to taste better to me. In any case, I am a sucker for "exotic" or "different" beverages. If there's a new soda flavor, I've got to try it. When limes are on sale, I can't help but make limeade.
I use sour Persian limes (the type the supermarkets label simply "Limes"). All limes turn yellow as they ripen (or overripen), so don't be thrown off if the limes have some yellow spots. For juicing, buy limes that are not completely hard. The softer limes generally have thinner rinds and more juice. I find that, in general, six limes produce about one cup of lime juice.
Before juicing the limes, roll them on the counter while pressing down with your palm to help break down the interior membranes and make juicing easier. Then cut them in half along the equator and press and twist against a reamer to release the juice. I don't like pulp in my fruit drinks, so I juice through a fine mesh strainer. Then I pour the liquid through another strainer (because I really don't like pulp in my juice). You should plan to have the juice end up in a measuring cup when you are done juicing and straining.
You can pour sugar directly into the lime juice and water when you prepare limeade, but sometimes you get gritty pieces of undissolved granules of sugar. To solve this problem, just prepare a simple syrup by heating one cup water and dissolving one cup granulated sugar into it. The simple syrup can be made in larger quantities and kept in the fridge for future use in making lemonade, sweetened iced tea, caramel sauces, etc.
Now how much simple syrup should we add to the lime juice? I worked it out to be 3 times as much. This quantity of simple syrup will be enough to temper the tart acidity of the lime juice without being overly sweet. So, for each cup of lime juice, heat 1-1/2 cup water and 1-1/2 cup granulated sugar. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved and remove from heat. Pour the three cups of simple syrup into the lime juice and stir. Now you have four cups of limeade concentrate. You can refrigerate this or even freeze them into ice cube trays for instant limeade whenever you want.
To convert the limeade concentrate into limeade, simply add two cups of water for each cup of concentrate. If you desire a little less tartness and sweetness, just add an addition half cup of water to the mixture.
Another way to cut the acidity is to use a ery small amount of backing soda. I use about 1/8 tsp for a cup of lemon juice. It depends on the acidity of the fruit but I guess would be similar for limes.
Last edited by Rob M on Sat Oct 15, 2005 5:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
Thank you! In attempting to relive a fond childhood memory, I was looking for a limeade recipe, since I don't like the one made with commercial concentrate (a bitterness one cannot get rid of). So I Googled the recipe, and yours was first on the list. None of my favorite recipe sites had anything near a recipe for it, the closest being a mix for daiquiris or margaritas. Your recipe is perfect!
I just made this and its perfect. A hint about juicing the limes: use a handheld lime juicer. In about 2 minutes I went from having 6 limes to a cup of lime juice. Just be careful because it can squirt out (possibly into your eyes!) if you're squeezing hard. The one I used is like this (though I got a much cheaper one). Make sure you get a metal one!
Thanks Michael for the great site!
Thanks for this idea. My lime tree is in full season and I have limes galore. I had to adjust the sugar proportion a bit as I have the small yellow 'Mexican' or 'Margarita' limes - the same tree in Florida would be called a key lime - and they tend to be somewhat sweeter than the larger standard limes.
Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 3:34 am Post subject: Simple syrup
One comment about simple syrup: 1.5c sugar plus 1.5c water will not yield 3c simple syrup. I usually make simple syrup from 2 parts sugar to 1 part water and find that the resulting syrup is roughly the same volume as the sugar was originally. This is handy since it means that the syrup has the same sweetening power by volume as sugar.
Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:24 pm Post subject: limmmmmmmmmeade
another great recipe! i'm sipping one right now, with a shot of seltzer water for the bubbles =)
by the way, what's the deal with quinine and all that stuff in club soda/seltzer water/whatnot? i ended up getting whichever one had the least 'stuff' listed in the ingredients. is it bubble-preservative?
Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:25 pm Post subject: RE: limmmmmmmmmeade
Quinine is actually an anti-malarial additive. It was sent in the water to the British in india during their occupation. It was quite sour, originally, so the gin and tonic was invented, gin added to sweeten it up a bit. Hard to believe from my point of view, because I'm of the opinion that all gin tastes like pine-sol. Anyways, the quinine is added into the tonic water not to keep the original flavor.