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How to Make the Best Limeade

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home." She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated."

This limeade recipe is the absolute best!

This limeade recipe is the absolute best!

The Best Limeade Recipes

Both refreshingly sweet and pleasantly tangy, limeade is popular all over the world. Peruvian limeade, which utilizes the entire lime, is economical, low in calories, and thirst-quenching like no other summer beverage. Fortunately, limeade is easy to make at home. What secret ingredient makes the best limeade?

Key limes, also known as Mexican limes or West Indian limes, are the most popular citrus fruit in Peru. Smaller and thinner skinned than Tahitian or Persian limes commonly found in U.S. grocery stores, they are considered "true" limes and add the perfect tang to any beverage.

Peruvian limeade is lower calorie than traditional limeade (just 69 per serving) since it only calls for three lemons and a half cup of sugar. Traditional limeade, which requires one cup of white sugar, averages 165 calories per glass. It's also quicker and easier than standard limeade as it is made in a blender with no lemon squeezing required.

Below you will find recipes for both traditional-style limeade (using the juice of any lime) and Peruvian-style limeade (made with Key limes). Since Key limes are now found in many U.S. grocery stores and large scale retailers such as Costco, why not buy a bagful and try these special limeades today?

Peruvian Limeade: Quick, Easy and Low-Cal

Peruvian Limeade: Quick, Easy and Low-Cal

Table of Contents

  • Tips & Variations
  • Recipe: Traditional Limeade (No blender required)
  • Recipe: Quick & Easy Peruvian Blender Limeade (Made With Key Limes)
  • Key Limes: For More Than Just Limeade
Tangy Mango Lemonade

Tangy Mango Lemonade

Tips and Variations

  • For No Sugar Limeade: Substitute a no calorie sweetener such as stevia or xylitol for the simple syrup (only 8 calories per serving).
  • If you can tolerate some sugar, try sweetening limeade with a few tablespoons of simple syrup and a little stevia. Your kids might not even notice they're drinking Lower Calorie limeade.
  • Since ice cubes dilute limeade, make limeade ice cubes.
  • Chill glasses in the freezer.
  • Serve with lime slices on the lip of glasses or float slices in the pitcher.
  • For a fancy touch, rub glass rims with leftover lime halves then dip them in sugar.
  • Make lime sugar for dipping glass rims: with a microplaner, grate a small amount of lime zest into fine sugar. Stir before using.
  • Invest in a lime squeezer, the best tool for juicing a Key lime. See Amazon capsule (right).
  • Room temperature limes are easier to squeeze.
  • Apply pressure while rolling the lime back and forth across the countertop. This will also allow you to extract more juice.
  • Squeeze Key limes with gentle pressure to avoid extracting bitter flavor from the rind.
  • Try sparkling water, club soda or seltzer water for sparkling limeade.
  • Some limeade drinkers enjoy their beverage syrupy sweet while others prefer subtle sweetness. Start with less sugar and taste before adding more.
  • Stir a spoonful of beautiful Exotic Wild Berry Sauce into your limeade for something special.
Key limes are smaller and rounder than Tahitian limes and turn yellow as they ripen

Key limes are smaller and rounder than Tahitian limes and turn yellow as they ripen

Tangy Traditional Limeade

Cook Time

Prep timeReady inYields

15 min

15 min

6 servings

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Read More From Delishably

This tangy limeade can be made with any type of lime, but we prefer the juice of Key limes.

Lime squeezers are the best way to juice Key limes.

Lime squeezers are the best way to juice Key limes.


  • 3/4 -1 cup simple syrup or agave
  • 2/3 cup lime juice, preferably Key lime
  • 6 cups water


  1. To make simple syrup: Combine one cup of water and one cup of white sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Stir and simmer for a few seconds, until the sugar dissolves. Chill until ready to use.
  3. Combine chilled ingredients in a pitcher.
  4. Serve in chilled glasses with limeade ice cubes and lime slices to beat the summer heat.
Serve with limeade ice cubes

Serve with limeade ice cubes

Quick & Easy Peruvian Blender Limeade

This frothy limeade has a slightly bitter flavor profile. Add plenty of ice cubes for an extra frosty drink


  • 3 Key limes, washed thoroughly
  • 6 cups water & ice
  • 1/2-3/4 cup white sugar, raw sugar or agave (to taste)


  1. Cut limes in half and remove seeds.
  2. Place limes, water, ice and sugar in blender container.
  3. Blend on high for a minute or two.
  4. Pour through a sieve to strain.
  5. Serve limeade in chilled glasses.
Peruvian Limeade

Peruvian Limeade

Key Limes: For More Than Just Limeade

  • Also known as "bartender's limes", Key limes' tart flavor is ideal for alcoholic beverages such as mojito, margarita, Pisco sour and gin & tonic.
  • Key lime pie is a creamy citrus pie popular in Florida.
  • Why not help the kids set up a limeade stand this summer?
  • Key limes are higher in Vitamin C than other lime varieties.
  • Try Key lime sorbet!
  • Limes have higher sugar and citric acid content than lemons, making them perfect for beef, chicken or fish marinades.
  • Key lime's acidic juice will keep guacamole green for hours and gives authentic flavor.
  • Add Key limes juice to authentic pico de gallo, or fresh salsa.
  • Zest is the outer skin of any citrus fruit. Lime zest adds both flavor and color to recipes.
  • Although Persian limes are more common in in the U.S., Key limes are the most common variety found worldwide.
  • Persian limes were developed in the U.S. because of the tree's resistance to frost.

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