Limonana is a popular refreshing middle eastern lemonade with mint. This type of lemonade can be commonly found in beach shak and juice bar menus in Goa, India. Learn how to make Limonana from scratch with my recipe below.
Flipflops, summer hats, picnics, beach life, burning sun, sun tan, fun games, palm tress, sun beds and the bar. Does that sound familiar or does it remind you rather of a distant but familiar dream? Hasn’t the hot season arrived yet in your corner of the world?
No doubt, we in Goa are in the middle of the steaming summer pressure cooker experience. I gave up my whining this year and rather try my level best to adjust and shut the hell up. I am harsh with myself but that’s ok because I can sip on my refreshing yellow green Limonana.
What is a Limonana?
You heard right, it’s not Lemonade it’s Limonana, a lemony minty cool non alcoholic beverage mixture. It’s simple enough but still so widely unknown apparently. The cute sounding Limonana originated in the middle East and as you might know already Goa used to be the Israeli tourist hub. Unsurprisingly they introduced their home dish favorites to the coastline belt and especially the north of Goa still serves the best of the Israeli food and drinks world.
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At the time when we used to run our juice bar cum Tandoori take away, we had the refreshing Limonana on our menu. Apart from that we were serving also other beverages such as the ABC Juice, The Red Cooler, the simple Lemonade, Papaya lemon juice and shakes such as the Chikoo shake and Spirulina shake as well as a couple of different Lassie’s.
No alcohol, only a healthy punch of fruit based beverages without any artificial elements. I had even created a little “board” with some information about the health benefits. I just dug it out from my archive and had to chuckle. I even found some typos but I have to admit we had a good time back then. ^.^
I remember an older English couple visiting our place. They had just arrived a day before to Goa and it had been their first trip, so they were confused but were discovering Goa in their own pace. The lady took out her reading glasses and went through the menu.
He was sitting at the side, drenched in his own perspiration, peacefully observing the activities on the ground near by. Yet the lady was obviously eager to order something cooling asap but she was confused about the beverages in the menu, there was no Coco Cola. I explained her that we didn’t serve common soda based beverages but organic fruit juices, shakes and Lassies.
I knew they were suffering in the heat and I knew they needed something they would thank me for, so I suggested if they would like to try the Limonana. They ordered, I picked the ingredients, mixed, came back with the Limonana and they had their first sips…
Her face turned from a tortured grimace to a broad wide smile in seconds! She was enchanted and couldn’t believe that she had never had this lovely Lemony Mint beverage before. Both ingredients abate the heat in an instance but the mint cools the stomach and the lemon reminds you that live isn’t a constant oven.
So they asked me for the recipe and I happily shared it with them. I remember it as if it was yesterday, because they had been so sweet and because of their pleasing experience in our establishment. Experiences like this helped me to convince myself that I needed to share my food knowledge so that others could enjoy my treats as well.
Limonana – Lemon Mint Recipe below:
- 2-3 Lemons (2 if broad Lemons, 3 if small Indian style Lemons)
- 1 handful fresh Mint leafs
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar or more according to your taste
- 600 milliliter Water
- Fresh Mint and Lemon Slices
- and don't forget to add a few Ice Cubes
- Add to a Blender Jar the freshly squeezed Lemon juice, the whole Mint leafs, Sugar and Water and blend the whole content well so that the leafs are completely cut into tiny pieces.
- Strain the beverage 2 times so that now mint pieces are left and serve it cold with Fresh Mint leafs, Lemon slices and a few Ice Cubes.