Israel’s stellar contribution to frosty summer beverages is called Limonana. This drink has become the look and flavor of summer in Israel and it’s sold in nearly every cafe and restaurant. Basically, it’s icy lemonade with crushed mint in it (Nana is mint in Hebrew) to make a frozen slush. It is so refreshing, the perfect treat for a hot, humid Israeli afternoon.
Here’s a classic recipe for you to try at home. It takes five minutes to make. There are many variations of limonana; in fact, some like to add Sprite® or sparkling water to the mix, but suit the recipe to your taste buds. This recipe will make approximately four cups.
- 1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste)
- 1 3/4 cups water (divided)
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 1/2 cups ice
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 6 mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of water and sugar. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, till the sugar dissolves. Let the water cool to room temperature.
In a blender, combine the sugar water, fresh lemon juice, ice, fresh mint leaves and 3/4 cup of water.
Pulse for a few seconds, then blend for 1 minute until the ice is thoroughly crushed and the drink takes on the texture of a thick slushy. Taste. This recipe produces a mildly sweet limonana, which is the way I like it. Some people like it sweeter. Add sugar to taste, if desired, and blend again.
Pour into cold glasses and serve. Garnish with sprigs of mint, if desired.
Note: If you’re on a low sugar diet or watching your weight, you can also make this drink with Splenda®, stevia, agave, or your favorite low glycemic sweetener. Rather than making the sugar water, add a cup of unsweetened water to the blender (2 cups of water total) and blend the drink without sugar. Add your sweetener of choice to taste, blend again, and serve.
Recipe from Tori Avey.