Brazilian Lemonade, Brazilian Limeade – whatever you want to call it, this is one delicious and refreshing drink that we enjoy year round!
This is one of our favorite treats that seems to go perfectly with everything. Of course it’s a fantastic drink to enjoy during the summer when the days are long and hot, but it’s also great in the winter when limes are in season and at their juicy best!
I first tried this Brazilian lemonade recipe after seeing it on Our Best Bites, who posted about it way back in 2010, and we’ve been making it ever since. It’s sweet-tart, tangy, and ever so slightly creamy thanks to the addition of some sweetened condensed milk.
If you have ever eaten at one of many popular Brazilian steakhouses like Tucanos or Fogo de chao, you may have had a chance to try this wonderfully sweet-tart Brazilian Lemonade. Serve it with almost anything, but if you are doing a Brazilian-themed meal, it’s especially delicious with Brazilian black beans and Brazilian white rice.
Why is it called Brazilian Lemonade and not Brazilian Limeade?
It seems like a strange misnomer to call this beverage “lemonade” when there are no actual lemons in it. But the reason is actually because the word for both lemons and limes in Portuguese is limão.
I’ve also read that this is sometimes actually called Swiss Lemonade in Brazil, although I don’t know why or whether that’s actually true. It may also just be a regional name from Brazilian limeade or lemonade, given that Brazil is such a large country!
How to Make Brazilian Lemonade
You are going to want a good blender to make Brazilian lemonade. A Vitamix or a Blendtec are probably the two best known brands, and I love my Vitamix and use it on an almost daily basis. But if you don’t have one, I’m including a couple of work arounds in the recipe notes. But it’s so much easier to just use a blender for this recipe.
First you want to make sure you have nice, juicy limes. Ones with thin, smooth skins are the best since they have less white pith between the outer skin and the flesh of the lime and that’s where any bitterness comes from.
Give the limes a good scrub with a little bit of hand or dish soap to get rid of wax and any pesticides, then slice of the ends of each lime and cut them into 1/8ths.
Drop half of the limes into your blender, along with half of the water and sugar called for in the recipe and pulse it about 5 to 7 times. You don’t actually want to pulverize the limes or your Brazilian lemonade might turn out bitter.
Pour everything through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher, using the back of a spoon to press the limes to release any extra juice, then toss the pulp and skins away and repeat the process with the remaining half of the limes, water and sugar.
After that, you just stir in some sweetened condensed milk (it makes a huge difference so I definitely wouldn’t skip this!) and a bunch of ice and serve! It doesn’t keep very well, which is the one downside to this drink, but it seriously takes 5 minutes or less to make and we never have leftovers, so that’s not usually an issue. I have actually even frozen this in popsicle molds and we’ve enjoyed it that way too, which is a yummy summer treat!
Brazilian Lemonade, Brazilian Limeade - whatever you want to call it, this is one delicious and refreshing drink that we enjoy year round!
- 4 juicy limes, washed and scrubbed clean
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
Wash limes thoroughly by, scrubbing the skin with hand or dish soap to remove any pesticides or wax. Slice off the ends of each lime, then cut them into 1/8ths.
In a blender, combine half of the water, half of the sugar, and half of the limes, then pulse 5-7 times. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher, pressing the lime pulp with a spoon to help release juices, then discarding the remaining skins and pulp. Repeat with the other half of the water, sugar, and limes.
Stir the sweetened condensed milk into the limeade and serve with lots of ice and thin slices of lime for garnish. If the drink tastes bitter at all, you can add a little extra sweetened condensed milk or sugar as needed.
Limes with smooth, thin skin are the juiciest and have less chance of making the drink bitter.
If you don't have a blender, you could just use 1 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice instead and stir it into the water and sugar, along with the sweetened condensed milk. I find that the skin adds a lot of flavor itself because of the zest that comes off it in the blending process, but this is still a good approach if you don't have a blender.
Recipe from Our Best Bites.
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