This Brazilian Lemonade (Limeade)has just the right balance between sweet and sour. Sweetened Condensed milk and the use of the lime skin make for the most delicious, creamy, frothy lemonade ever.
Here in my house everyone loves Brazilian Lemonade. It's creamy, frothy and so refreshing.
What makes this lemonade stand out from the traditional one is that you blend the whole lemon (skin included) and add sweetened condensed milk to sweeten it up. These changes give the lemonade more depth of flavor, and a slightly creamy texture that balance the tartness of the limes. The result is a delicious refreshing drink that is almost like dessert in a cup. It's the perfect "fancy" drink for a family or friends reunion.
Now, you might be wondering why it's called lemonade if it's infect made with limes. So, let me explain you why, since I'm Brazilian.
In Brazil, lime is called lemon, and the American lemon is called Sicilian lemon. So, both are called "lemon" in Brazil, and that's why we call it Brazilian Lemonade.
How to make Brazilian Lemonade
Making Brazilian Lemonade is very easy. You basically mix everything in the blender. However, there are some tips to make your lemonade "the best ever".
Remove the Pith (white central part of the lime)
Cut the lemons into 4 wedges (cutting lengthwise) and remove the pith from the center of each wedge. The pith is a little bitter, so we don't want to add that to our lemonade.
Don't blend it for too long
Just a few seconds will do the trick. The pith beneath the zest has a bitter taste, and the more you blend it, the more particles will be released in your juice. So, use the “pulse” button a few times or blend on high for less than 10 seconds.
Use a mix of sugar and sweetened condensed milk
I've made many Brazilian Lemonades, and after many tests I realized that the best result is achieved with a combination of condensed milk and sugar. When we use only sweetened condensed milk it covers up the lime taste, and the end result is a bland lemonade. Therefore, we use condensed milk and sugar to achieve the necessary sweetness, without compromising the delicious lime flavor.
How to avoid a bitter taste in your lemonade
When we blend the lemon in a blender, an enzymatic process begins, converting some phytochemicals of the lemon into limonin, a compound that has a very bitter flavor.
This bitter taste, when in small quantities, actually helps to balance the sour taste of the lime, making the lemonade even more delicious. However, this enzymatic process increases more and more over time, consequently making your lemonade more and more bitter. This is true even for the traditional lemonade.
So, I will list here a few things that help to avoid a bitter taste:
- As I mentioned before, remove the pith in the center of the lime, and blend your limes with water for just a few seconds. The more the lime is processed, the more substances are released and the greater the enzymatic processing that causes the bitter taste (limonin) will be.
- Keep your lemonade in the refrigerator, as the low temperature slows down this process.
- If possible, place the juice in a jar with lid. The oxidation of the nutrients gives the lemonade an off-taste, and oxygen speeds up this process.
- Use a mixture of lime juice and whole lime. Juicing one lime will help to balance the flavor from the blended limes.
- Consume your Brazilian Lemonade in less than 5 hours. Most scientific articles I've read indicate that a lemonade can be stored for up to 10 hours without the taste being significantly compromised. However, as the Brazilian Lemonade is made with blended lemons (thus increasing the amount of limonin to be produced) I advise consuming it as soon as possible.
The characteristic flavor of Brazilian Lemonade is due to the use of the whole lemon and the addition of condensed milk. However, if you plan to consume it in more than 5 hours, I advise you to squeeze all the lemons and use only the juice, instead of blending the whole lemon.
If you'd like to learn more about enzymatic bittering, here is a good article for you to read.
Now, let's go to the recipe for this delicious lemonade!
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- 3 limes
- 1 quart cold water
- ⅔ of a can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Wash all limes thoroughly.
- Cut just 1 of the limes in half and squeeze out the juice. It should yield approximately 3 tablespoons of juice. Reserve.
- Cut the other 2 limes into 4 wedges (lengthwise) and remove the seeds and pith from the center, with a knife.
- Put the lime wedges in a blender and add the water. Beat for approximately 7 seconds or press the "pulse" button a few times.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove rinds.
- Return the lime juice to the blender and add the condensed milk, reserved lemon juice, ice and sugar. Beat until everything is mixed.
- Serve it chilled.
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