Limeade isn’t nearly as common as lemonade, but everyone I know that is a fan of the lemon juice drink is at least as appreciative of limeade, if not moreso. The drinks are virtually the same – lemon/lime juice, sugar, water and ice – but limeade is a bit brighter and tangier than lemonade. It often tastes less sweet than lemonade, even with the same amount of sugar put in as a sweetener. For me, this makes it even more refreshing. It is perfect for cutting through rich or spicy foods.
Just as with lemonade, limeade is best when you start out with fresh limes. Real lime juice gives the drink a fresher flavor than prebottled does. If you’re going to try prebottled lime juice, you may as well just start out with a whole bottle of limeade and save some time (Simply Limeade is one of my favorites, if you are looking for a good bottled brand). Once you have your juice, you only need to stir in some sugar and dilute the mixture with water before chilling and drinking. I usually make a simply sugar syrup for lemonade, and I do pretty much the same thing for limeade, heating some of the water used just enough to dissolve all the granulated sugar. Sugar should be adjusted to taste, of course.
Limeade is great on its own, but can also be a good mixer for margaritas and other cocktails. It’s summery, but there is no reason that limeade can’t be enjoyed all year round as long as you can find juicy limes to start with.
1 cup fresh lime juice (from 4-6 large limes)
1 cup sugar
4 cups water, divided
In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of water with sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Combine sugar-water, lime juice and the rest of the water in a large pitcher. Feel free to add in some more sugar if you like your limeade sweeter, or a bit more water to tone down the zestiness if you have limes that are on the sour side. Add ice to help cool down the limeade, then chill until ready to serve.