Years ago at a pizzeria in Salvador, I had my first limonada suíça (literally, Swiss lemonade). A mix of lime, lime zest, sparkling water and sugar, it was a fizzy, super lime-y delight. Being Mexican, I’m obsessed with all things lime — this drink was meant for me.
When I returned to Brazil in 2012, this time to São Paulo, I went to a restaurant and saw my beloved limonada suíça on the menu. I immediately ordered it, but was confused when the waiter came back with something a bit different. It was with still water instead of sparkling, and it had condensed milk. Since then, I’ve been to a number of other places here in São Paulo with the same condensed milk version.
I researched this drink and have found that there are varying ways to make it, but all include lime juice and zest. I’m giving two different recipes, the two ways I’ve had it here. To be honest I prefer the first way best since it’s lighter and I love fizz, but adding condensed milk is still an interesting twist.
Note: Brazilians tend to make their drinks super sweet, often a bit too sweet for my taste. The recipes below are more leveled to my preference, but add more sugar if you need to.
Limonada Number 1
-1/3 cup still water
-2/3 cup sparkling water
-1/2 Tahiti lime (preferably with smooth skin)
-2 heaping T sugar
-With the lime, cut off the ends and discard the seeds and fibrous white stuff inside so that the drink isn’t bitter.
-In a blender, combine the still water, sugar, juice from the 1/2 lime, and zest from 1/4 lime. (No need to grate it, just throw the peel in.)
-Blend on high for 3-5 seconds.
-Strain into a glass.
-Add the sparkling water slowly. The combination of the carbonation with the citric acid from the lime makes it extra fizzy.
Limonada Number 2
-1 c water
-1 tsp sugar
-2 T sweetened condensed milk
-1/2 Tahiti lime (with smooth skin)
-Do the same steps as above, except substitute the different measurements of ingredients. Also, add the condensed milk to the mix.
-Strain into a glass and enjoy!