This limonada (lemonade) is one of those ‘perfect for a hot day on a Mexican beach’ drinks. Taken at one of the little food bars on La Entrega Bay, this photo shows a perfect Mexican limonada. (La Entrega Bay is also the best snorkelling beach in Huatalco, Mexico.)
To make a classic Mexican limonada:
- Make a ‘simple sugar syrup’ by boiling a water/sugar mixture until the sugar is dissolved. The proportions are one cup of water / one cup of sugar. This syrup can also be used for mixed drinks, and keeps for a long time if you store it in the refrigerator.
- Chill the syrup.
- Squeeze a few Mexican ‘limes’ with a Mexican lime squeezer. I have put quotes around the word ‘lime’ because whenever I see a sign advertising ‘Limes from Mexico’, I know that what I’m really getting are green lemons, known as limones in Mexico. They are smaller, sweeter and more fragrant than the typical ‘lime’ available in our northern markets. If you have to, you can use regular limes, and a regular lime squeezer – the Mexican lime squeezer is too small to work with regular limes.
- Add about one cup of lime juice to one cup of sugar syrup, and then dilute to taste with a mix of ice cubes and about 3 cups of cold water. You can add more sugar syrup to taste if you find it too sour.
- To turn this drink into a ‘Chia Fresca‘, skip the ice cubes and add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds to the limonada base. The seeds of the chia are a rich source of omega-3 oils, but must be soaked in liquid for an hour to allow the oils to be released.
Salvia hispanica or chia, is a species of plant from the mint family, and is native to México and Guatemala. In Vancouver you can find chia seeds at the Grainery on Granville Island.
I am rather fond of the slightly slimy ‘chia fresca‘.