Happy Monday! I’m changing up the routine a little by bringing you a Captivated by Cooking original today. I simply got too excited about it last night, so here we are.
And we’re talking about limeade. I’ve always preferred limes to lemons, although I do love a good glass of lemonade or an Arnold Palmer! But limes have just the right kind of zing for me. When I lived in Athens, I would frequent this incredible outdoor Cuban restaurant, Cali N Tito’s. They had the most amazing limeade. Seriously though, I’ve never had anything like it.
As I set out to make my limeade, I remembered a lime-basil simple syrup I had made and stashed in my fridge last month. Lime basil is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a basil variety that smells strongly of limes. I have a handful of varieties of basil in my container garden, and the lime basil had gotten out of control! With its unique taste, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with all of it. It’s too pronounced to be the showcase variety in a caprese or other typical basil dish. So, I looked up a lime-basil simple syrup recipe and figured I could incorporate it into a mojito-esque drink later on.
Anyways, all that back story to say that I realized this simple syrup would be a perfect addition to limeade. The familiar basil taste we all know and love is very subtle in this drink, and all the components of the lime really shine through. And when making a cold drink like limeade, it’s always nice to use simple syrup because it mixes much better than with granulated sugar (my old roommate and best friend Kelsey taught me that one – thanks!). If you are eager to make limeade but don’t have access to lime basil, you can use a simple syrup without any other ingredients. Another recipe I saw incorporated lime zest into the simple syrup, which could be another fun twist for you. Mess around with it! Experiment with how sweet or tangy you like your limeade, and enjoy!
5-6 limes (or sub in 1 cup bottled lime juice)
1 cup lime-basil simple syrup
2 quarts cold water
Roll limes back and forth over the counter with the palm of your hand (this allows you to get more juice out of your lime!). Cut limes in half and juice limes until you have 1 cup of fresh lime juice. Pour juice into a pitcher. Add in lime-basil simple syrup and cold water. Stir the limeade well and adjust amount of syrup, water, and/or lime juice as needed. Let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Serve over ice with a sprig of lime basil and a slice of lime (optional).