Frothy Brazilian Limeade aka Brazilian Lemonade is made with limes, confusing I know, but don’t let the misnomer keep you from enjoying this treat. It is so easy to make this tart and refreshing drink in a blender. The recipe is made up of just limes, water, ice, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk.
The traditional Brazilian drink calls for lime chunks, peels, and flesh, to be quickly blended, and then the rinds are strained out and the mixture is combined with sweetened condensed milk and enjoyed. But this method makes a drink that will quickly become bitter from the white pith found between the green zest and lime flesh.
I like to zest the limes and freshly squeeze the juice, then blend the juice, ice, water, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk together which gives a frothy tart and sweet drink that can be enjoyed throughout dinner.
What Kind of Limes to Use for Brazilian Lemonade
The limes available in grocery stores are called Persian limes, but these fruits are usually just labeled limes. The other smaller lime that can be found are key limes, often sold in 1-pound mesh bags.
Persian limes are tapered oval-shaped. Look for limes with smooth, deep green skin that feel heavy. Limes that have a slight give will impart their juice easier than rock-hard fruit. But avoid squishy limes.
Key limes are smaller in size and lighter in weight than their larger cousins. Both the juice and zest are more acidic and the taste is stronger. There are also more seeds in Key limes than regular limes. Because of the disparity in size and weight, you need more key limes than Persian limes to fill the same volume of zest and juice.
Lime Juice and Zest Equivelants
- 1 Persian lime = 1-1/2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1 Persian lime = 1-3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 pound Persian limes = 6-8 limes = 1/2 – 2/3 cups juice
- 1 Key lime = 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 Key lime = 2-3 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 pound Key limes – 12-16 Key limes = 1/2 – 2/3 cups juice
Freshly squeezed lime juice and zest have a bright and vibrant taste in addition to the tart citrus flavor of limes. Bottled juice can’t replicate those vivid flavor notes. So take the time to zest each lime and then cut each fruit in half through the equator and squeeze the juice. Your tastebuds will appreciate the effort.
Using Sweetened Condensed Milk
Brazilian limeade gets its characteristic foam from blending the juice, zest, and liquid as well as the milky appearance from sweetened condensed milk. Usually found in the baking aisle, this canned milk is made by combining whole milk with sugar and then removing about 60% of the water to create a thick sweet product that can be used as-is or incorporated into many recipes. Do not try to substitute evaporated milk for sweetened condensed milk since the flavor, and thickness are completely different.
One (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk gives you 10 liquid ounces of milk. Since this recipe calls for 2/3 cup you will only need 3 fluid ounces by weight or 85 grams which is about 1/3 of the can. Transfer the remaining sweetened condensed milk to a small airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks (use it in other recipes,) or place the labeled container in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost the frozen milk, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Just remember to stir the milk well since it will separate after thawing. Use as you normally would.Print
Frothy Brazilian Limeade is a tart and refreshing treat made with just 5 ingredients that is so easy to blend up enjoy. Add some muddled berries or other fruit syrups to create lots of variations.
- 1–1/4 pound limes, (8–10 large Persian limes) zested to make 1/3 cup lime zest and squeezed to make 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 cup ice
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 cups cold water
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- Wash limes throughly and dry completely. Using a microplane, remove the zest from 8 of the limes to equal 1/3 cup of lime zest and set aside.
- Cut the zested limes in half and squeeze to remove all the juice to equal 1 cup lime juice. Strain out any seeds.
- In a blender, add the lime juice, lime zest, ice, and sugar and pulse several times to combine.
- Add the water and sweetened condensed milk and blend on high until frothy.
- Taste and add additional lime juice if you want a more tartness.
- Garnish with thin lime slices and serve with ice.
The ratio of lime juice to water for limeade is 1 part fresh lime juice to 2.5 – 3 parts water. Since Brazilian limeade also adds sweetened condensed milk, you can safely increase the water ratio. But if you like it more tart, add the juice of another lime.
Look for limes with smooth evenly dark green skins that feel heavy for the size and have a slight give when squeezed.
To make berry flavored Brazilian limeade, muddle 2 tablespoons of chopped fruit per serving to each glass and pour the limeade over the crushed fruit. Stir to combine and serve.