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Food & Recipes

Homemade Limeade Tastes Like a Sip of Sunshine — 2 Easy Recipes

This chef's trick maximizes the amount of juice you'll get from each lime

One of our favorite ways to stay cool in the warm weather? Sipping a tall glass of limeade. This drink strikes the right balances of citrusy and sweet flavors that will quench your thirst. Even better, we have a simple trick that allows you to get every bit of juice from your limes — and you don’t even need to grab a juicing tool. Keep reading to learn how to make a tasty batch of limeade along with two effortless recipe options!

The ingredients in limeade

Traditional limeade is made with lime juice, sugar or other sweeteners and water — that’s it! Once these ingredients are thoroughly combined, the drink is chilled and served over ice. Similar to lemonade, it’s a refreshing sip that’s sure to help you beat the heat.

Is limeade good for you?

Making limeade from scratch is a healthier option than the store-bought kind. It won’t contain added ingredients or preservatives since you’re preparing and enjoying it fresh. Plus, you can incorporate other ingredients like strawberries or basil into the drink for a flavor and nutrient boost.

Chef’s hack for juicing limes with ease

Fresh lime juice adds a burst of pure citrus flavor to the drink. And you can get every last drop out of your limes by microwaving them before squeezing. The reason: Limes tend to dry out, especially when stored at room temperature, as the rind hardens from air exposure. While this can make it harder to juice the limes, warming them up fixes that.

“You get so much more juice when it’s warm,” Kathryn Kellogg, founder of Going Zero Waste, says. “So, if it’s been sitting on your counter or in the fridge, pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds, give it a roll and you will get double the juice.” And voilà! You’ll have plenty of lime juice to make this drink — with little elbow grease needed. Watch Kellogg’s video below to see how this hack works. (Learn more about how to juice a lime without a juicer.)

2 simple-to-make limeade recipes

Since limeade contains few ingredients, it’s easy to whip up for an afternoon picnic or your next BBQ. Here, you’ll find two recipes that prep in just 10 minutes. If you want to add a touch of fizz to either limeade recipe, top off each glass with sparkling water and enjoy!

Classic Limeade

Limeade as part a guide showcasing the classic recipe
Jenifoto/Getty

This Classic Limeade recipe comes from Aleka Shunk, founder at Aleka’s Get-Together, and never fails to wow a crowd!

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1½ cups fresh lime juice + more (if needed)
  • 1 cup sugar + more (if needed)
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 3 cups ice

Directions:

  • Yield: 5 to 6 servings
  1. Add all ingredients to large pitcher and stir well until sugar is completely dissolved. Add more, if desired, for extra sweetness; or stir in ½ cup more lime juice if you like it more sour.
  2. Chill in fridge at least 2 hours before serving. Serve over ice and garnish with lime wheel.

Berry Limeade

Strawberry limeade as part a guide showcasing the classic recipe
Natalia Gdovskaia/Getty

In this Berry Limeade recipe, our test kitchen infuses the drink with strawberries, basil and lime soda to create the ultimate spiked refresher.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil
  • 8 oz. lime vodka
  • 8 oz. lime juice (14 limes)

Directions:

  • Yield: 8 servings
  1. Bring sugar, ½ cup berries, basil and 1 cup water to boil; cook until sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Chill; discard basil. 
  2. In pitcher, combine 2 cups water, syrup, vodka and lime juice. Add remaining ½ cup berries.

Read on for more delicious drink recipes!

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This Frozen Mangonada Drink Is Pure Tropical Bliss: Sweet, Spicy + Easy to Make in 10 Minutes

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