This Brazilian lemonade recipe, also known as Brazilian limeade, is the perfect combination of citrus and condensed milk. With the right amount of sweetness and just enough ice to beat the heat, this recipe makes the best summer drink!
Lemonade or Limeade?
Although this recipe can be made using lemons, if you’re going for a traditional Brazilian Lemonade, you’ll use limes. So it should be called limeade, right?
It should, but most of the people I know use lemonade when talking about this recipe. Also, in Brazil both lemons and limes are called limão, the yellow one having sisciliano at the end, and the green one, taiti. Lemonade and limeade have the same translation: limonada.
To me, as long as you put the word Brazilian in front of it, you can use lemonade or limeade.
Fun fact: here in Canada limes are quite pricey if compared to lemons, but in Brazil, it’s possible to buy a dozen limes for less than a dollar. Lemons, on the other hand, are crazy expensive in Brazil, and not that easy to find.
Fun fact 2: we Brazilians call this recipe Swiss Lemonade. Although everyone has a different story to explain it, no one is really sure about why it has Swiss in the name.
This lemonade is known for its delicious taste. It’s also famous for its bitterness after some time - and depending on how it was made, that time can be minutes.
That happens because some recipes ask for blending the whole lime. We’re not doing it here.
If using whole limes, blending the fruits for only 10 to 15 seconds might make it less bitter. But when I make this recipe that way, my lemonade gets bitter in less than 1 hour and it’s difficult to strain.
We’re zesting the limes for this recipe, peeling off the white pith underneath it and cutting off its white interior.
These white parts are the responsible for bitterness. You might still get some white skin while zesting/peeling the limes, but having a bit is ok and won’t make this lemonade bitter.
If I need to make this one to two hours ahead, using this method makes it possible.
How to make it
About the ingredients, you just want to make sure you’re using fresh and really juicy limes. Wash well the skin before making this lemonade: we’re using the zest of all limes.
Zest the limes grating them or using a sharp peeler. You will probably still get a bit of the white skin under the green, but a tiny amount is totally ok and won’t make it bitter.
After zesting, peel the limes and remove all white pith. I cut the ends off, then cut the lime in half close to where I can see the pith. Watch the video to understand better how I do it.
Blend the peeled limes, zest and water for 30 to 40 seconds. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Press the lime pulp with a spoon to get all the juice out of it. Discard the pulp.
Blend the lime juice with sugar, condensed milk and ice cubes for another 30 to 40 seconds, or until the lemonade looks well mixed.
Serve it over ice right away, or store inside the fridge covered for 1 to 2 hours.
- If you want to make this recipe vegan, add the same amount of vegan condensed milk instead of using a dairy version.
- You can replace the sugar for the same amount of condensed milk for a milkier version. I like mine with both condensed milk and sugar, as too much condensed milk might
- This recipe makes a Brazilian lemonade that’s sweet enough for me. If you want it sweeter after tasting, add 1 to 2 more tablespoon of condensed milk, and blend the lemonade for another 10 seconds to mix it well.
- Wanna try a different version of this Brazilian lemonade? Make it with real lemons! It’s as good as it is with limes.
- This recipe keeps for about 5 hours, but I recommend serving it after 1 to 2 hours, if not right away. Lemonades, specially this Brazilian one, taste best just right after they’re prepared!
More lemonades to try
- 1 Pitcher
- 3 limes peeled, white pith removed
- zest of 3 limes
- 6 tablespoon condensed milk
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 3 cup water
- ice cubes
- Wash well the limes before making this lemonade to remove any wax and dirt.
- Zest limes by grating them or using a sharp peeler. You will probably still get a bit of the white pith, but a tiny amount is totally ok and won’t make the lemonade bitter. Use a light touch when zesting.
- After zesting, peel the limes and remove all white pith. Cut the ends off, then cut the lime in half close to where the middle white pith is. Watch the video to understand better how to do it.
- Blend the peeled limes with all zest and 3 cups of water for 30 to 40 seconds.
- Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Press the lime pulp with a spoon to get all the juice out of it. Discard the pulp.
- Blend the lime juice with sugar, condensed milk and half a cup of ice cubes for another 30 to 40 seconds, or until the lemonade looks well mixed.
- Serve it in tall glasses over ice right away, or store inside the fridge covered for 1 to 2 hours.