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From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa has been awarded the honor of "WINNER" in the "Cookbooks: International" category of the 2014 International Book Awards!

Monday, September 9, 2013


For the non-alcohol drinkers including kids:

Makes 2 liters/2 quarts

If you can find them, use Key Limes. Do not even try to make limonada with bottled lime juice, the kind you find on the grocery aisle, not in the freezer section—this drink is all about freshness! I do know how expensive limes can be, if that is the case where you live, just buy some frozen lime concentrate and make your limeade that way.

3⁄4 cup fresh lime juice (about 10–15 limes, depending on the size)
1 cup granulated sugar (use 3⁄4 cup sugar if you like it less sweet)
1 cup water plus more water and ice to fill a 2 liter/2 quart pitcher

Heat the 1 cup water until it is very warm but not hot. Make a simple syrup by adding the sugar and stirring to allow it to dissolve so you don’t have grainy limeade. This simple syrup will cool while you squeeze your limes.

Roll the limes on the counter using pressure from the heel of your hand to release more of the juice, especially if the limes are a bit hard. Cut the limes in half. Over a small strainer, squeeze the juice from the limes until you have at least 3⁄4 cup. You can use a squeezer, a reamer, or your hands to squeeze them; it doesn’t matter. The hand-held squeezer is the most common utensil for this task. Nearly every household in Mexico owns one.

Pour the lime juice and simple syrup into your pitcher. Stir to mix well. Add about 1-1⁄2 liters/1-1⁄2 quarts of cold water. Give it a taste. It should not make you pucker; it should just have a lovely refreshing flavor. If it tastes just perfect, add ice, and go sit out under the tree. If it needs a bit of adjusting, do so now. If it needs more sugar, make sure to melt it in some warm water before adding it to the limeade to avoid that gritty sensation. Too strong? Just add a bit more water. Not enough lime? Squeeze another.

Everyone has his or her own tastes when it comes to limeade, lemonade, or any other citrus drink. You will quickly find how to adjust yours to your taste buds. If you adjust the recipe, make sure to write it down so that the next time you make it, you will look like a pro.

A quick tip about limes: outside Mexico, limes tend to be a bit more expensive, so when limes go on sale in your area, buy as many as you can. Juice them into ice cube trays. When they are frozen, remove from the tray and place them in a freezer bag. Then, when you want a tall glass of limeade, pop 1 cube into a glass, add some simple syrup, cold water, and ice.

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