Confused by the title? You should be since a) lemons are nowhere in the picture (think: limes, baby) and b) when I consulted Brian who lived in Brazil for several years, he said he had never tasted anything like this. Now, granted, the country of Brazil is crazy humongous so there’s a really high likelihood he was stuck in the southern part of the country and missed out on this kind of goodness, but there’s also a really high likelihood that it’s just a fancy name for blender limeade.
No matter. The stuff is freakishly delicious. As in, I think it’s my favorite drink in the history of ever. I mean, picture it: an icy cold, creamy, bold lime drink toned down with the gentle sweetness of condensed milk. Perfection? Perfection.
I made this for the 4th of July last week (seriously mere hours after Ashleigh, a reader, sent it to me) and my kids are still talking about it and I’m still dreaming about it. I took sip after sip, closing my eyes and picturing myself on a remote beach in some tropically perfect location (jarred out of my reverie by the rowdies asking for me to please pass the pasta salad) and realized this drink may just be the happiness cement I need for the rest of summer in an insanely hot house packed with insanely energetic (but loveable) children. I’ll even consider doubling the batch so I don’t feel too badly about sharing. You know, because I’m nice like that.
This recipe can easily be halved! Large, juicy limes with thin skin are important here, otherwise the bitter taste of the lime rind will come through. So avoid those limes with bumpy, thick skin. To be safe, I'd buy 3 limes so in case they aren't as juicy as you think you can supplement the 1/2 cup juice with the 3rd lime (but don't blend up the rind of the 3rd lime if you have to get the juice out of it). You can add more sweetened condensed milk depending on how sweet and creamy you want the drink to be. Also, this drink doesn't fare well being made ahead but the beauty is it is so quick to make, you can make it right when you want to serve it!
- 2 large limes, thin skinned (see note above)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
- Cut the limes in half and squeeze out the juice. You should have approximately 1/2 cup juice. Keep the rinds and set the juice aside.
- In a blender, combine the juiced rinds with 2 cups of water. Blend for one minute until the mixture is coarsely mixed and frothy (if you make this start to finish and feel the mixture is too bitter, try only blending this part for 30 seconds or 10-12 pulses). Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a liquid measuring cup or bowl, pressing on the solids to extract all the juice. You should have about 3/4 cup liquid, more or less. Stir in the reserved lime juice. (You can go ahead and discard the pulp in the strainer.)
- To the blender, add the cold water, sugar, lime juice mixture, and sweetened condensed milk. Blend for 10-20 seconds. Add ice as desired: I added probably about 2-3 cups of ice - enough to make it cool and frosty but not thick like a smoothie. Blend until smooth. Add more sweetened condensed milk or sugar to taste, if needed. Serve immediately.