On balmy summer days, you'll find me on the porch pouring a tall glass of maple limeade. Lemonade is a classic, but limeade delivers a pleasantly less puckering punch. Paired with earthy and sweet maple syrup, limeade is the the sweet-tart thirst-quencher you'll reach for this summer, too!
Freshly squeezed lime juice, filtered water, and maple syrup come together to create the magical beverage. Read on for our tips on choosing the juiciest limes, how to make limeade more refreshing, and why maple syrup is the superior sweetener.
Get Zen with Your Limes
The one thing that holds me back from mixing up a pitcher of limeade each week is the thought of juicing so many limes. But if you shop smart and fill your cart with the best ones, you won't have to juice as many.
Here's how to do it: Place one lime in the palm of each hand and hold them gently. Close your eyes (it sounds silly, but it helps!), and let yourself feel the weight of the limes. One is heavier than the other, isn't it? Put the heavy one in your basket and repeat until you have 10 limes. Don't go for the larger limes by default — you may be fooled by a thick layer of pith. Choosing limes that feel heavy for their size is an almost foolproof way to pick fruit packed with juice.
Twist with the Right Tool
I love a reamer for juicing a single lemon or lime, but when there's a big juicing job ahead of me, I reach for a juicer. My juicer of choice has a top wide enough to accommodate a range of citrus fruits, and slim holes that don't let seeds slip through. The best part is the glass jar below that catches the juice. Another juicing tool we love? Our stand mixer. That's right — this ingenious trick works with limes, too.
Juicing tip: Does Microwaving a Lemon Really Give You More Juice?
Maple Syrup > Simple Syrup
Classic summer 'ades are sweetened with simple syrup, a mixture of water and sugar. Making simple syrup is a cinch, but it still requires heating the water to dissolve the sugar. When summer rolls around, I'm all about finding alternatives to turning on the stove, so I reach for the sweet syrup that's already in my fridge: maple syrup! Maple syrup has an earthy, sweet flavor that pairs so well with limes.
A pinch of kosher salt highlights the caramel flavor of the maple syrup, making this drink more than just a lip-puckering punch. Serving the drink over ice also helps cut the sour flavor, because the beverage will mellow as the ice melts. Alternatively, you can add an extra 1/2 cup of water if you drink it straight from the fridge.
freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 10 limes)
3 1/2 cups
water (preferably filtered, which has a cleaner flavor)
Lime slices (optional)
Strain the lime juice through a fine-mesh strainer, if desired. Place the lime juice, maple syrup, and salt in a pitcher and stir to combine. Add the water and stir. Chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving. If desired, serve over ice with a lime slice.
Storage: Refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Make ahead: Combine the lime juice, maple syrup, and salt to make limeade concentrate. Freeze in ice cube trays until solid. When ready to use, move the frozen cubes of limeade concentrate to a pitcher. Add 1 cup of warm water and stir until the cubes melt. Pour in the remaining 2 1/2 cups of cold water, stir, and chill.