Oh, summer, how I love you! Yes, you are hot, sweaty and annoyingly, blindingly bright on most days. But I don’t care. I love not having to wear jackets, scarves and boots. I love that I can literally be out of the door at a moment’s notice. And even though I end up looking like a wet chicken at the end of the day, I love you. Especially when I can sip on something cool all day long and not even feel guilty about it.
Summer is when cool drinks and fruit juices are acceptable as a kind of food group on their own. And nothing says summer like lemonade or limeade.
I am always on the lookout for beverage recipes that I can whip up one day and store in the refrigerator for the rest of the week. Because the last thing you need after a long, hot day is to come back and juice those limes/lemons. If you feel the same way, concentrates are your best friend.
I also particularly enjoy mixing flavors and coming up with unique and colorful drinks. When there is no dearth of colorful, juicy fruits this time of year, why not put them to good use?
As you can see, I’ve used blueberries here. Aren’t they just gorgeous? When it comes to berries, strawberries are my absolute favorite. I’ve used them in every imaginable way and then some more. Personally, I most enjoy eating strawberries than any other summer berries. I love blackberries for the beautiful color and depth of flavor they give when made into a sauce or compote. Blueberries are the same. You can eat them as such, make them into smoothies and popsicles, and now, a colorful limeade.
The blueberries are broken down in a simple sugar syrup and mixed with lime juice. You can also use lemon juice, but here also, I love limes just a teensy bit more than I do lemons. You can store this concentrate in the refrigerator and mix up a drink with lots of crushed ice and some water or club soda. You can also spike it with a shot of tequila or vodka, if that’s your thing.
Just remember to add lime wedges only while serving this limeade, because if you store them in the pitcher for a long time, the rinds will give out a bitter taste.
This drink will make the perfect beverage for your Fourth of July cookout this weekend, don’t you think so? The colors are just perfect. You can easily swap out the blueberries for your favorite berries and also replace the limes with lemons. It will be gorgeous any which way!
You will need: (Makes 8-10 servings)
- Blueberries – 2 cups, fresh and very ripe
- Sugar – 1 – 1 1/2 cups (see Notes)
- Water – 2 cups (plus extra while serving)
- Lime juice – 1/2 – 3/4 cup, freshly squeezed (see Notes)
- Crushed ice – to serve
- Lime wedges – to serve
- Take the blueberries, sugar and water in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat, breaking down the berries with the back of a spoon till sugar is dissolved completely and syrup thickens slightly. Strain the syrup using a fine-mesh sieve, pressing down on the berries to extract as much as possible.
- Allow syrup to cool down slightly. Stir in the lime juice. Store this a clean, dry bottle in the refrigerator.
- To make a drink, fill a glass with crushed ice or ice cubes, fill a third of the glass with the blueberry limeade concentrate and top with cold water, club soda or a shot of liquor. Top with fresh lime wedges and blueberries and serve.
- To make a large pitcher of this limeade, combine the berry syrup and lime juice with 8 cups of water and serve over ice.
- You can adjust the lime juice quantity depending on how tangy you like your limeade. Same goes for the sugar as well. I used 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of lime juice, freshly squeezed from 4 large limes.
- I am sure this recipe works well with frozen blueberries as well. Feel free to replace blueberries with other berries like strawberries, blackberries or raspberries.
- Also feel free to replace lime juice with lemon juice to make berry lemonade.
Serve this limeade in glasses or jars, which seem to be the craze nowadays. Muddle some more fresh berries right into the limeade and enjoy!
Don’t you think that is the prettiest summer drink ever? It was a huge hit at our house and I am sure you will enjoy it too.
So, tell me, how have you been staying cool and hydrated this summer? Come up with any new beverages lately? Do share.
Take a look at these fun and colorful summer beverages from the archives.
- Papaya Agua Fresca.
- Sunrise Mocktail.
- Grapefruit Juice With Ginger Simple Syrup.
- Red Grape Juice Concentrate (Angoor Ka Sharbat).
- Pineapple-Ginger Agua Fresca.
- Lemon-Mint-Ginger Summer Cooler.