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Recipe Redux: Brazilian Lemonade


When I was in college, a restaurant named Tucanos opened up in town. It was kind of a big deal. It was the kind of place that was expensive for college students, didn’t take reservations, and made you wait for ridiculous amounts of time before you could be seated. When your parents came to town for Homecoming weekend or graduation, of course you made them take you (and your very luckiest friends) out to dinner there, and if a boy took you to Tucanos on a date, you knew he was really trying to impress you. They served what seemed like a million different kinds of delicious grilled meats on dangerously long skewers, and little carafes of this intoxicating brazilian lemonade. It was sweet and tart and creamy and refreshing–delicious enough to make those hefty prices, long waits, and awkward first dates worth it.

Brazilian Lemonade
first published on Lulu the Baker in August of 2008

3 limes, quartered
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
4 cups cold water

Place limes in a blender with sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Add as much of the water as you can and pulse until everything is combined. Yes, there will still be big chunks of unpeeled limes in your blender. That is OK! Pour mixture through a mesh strainer and into a pitcher. Pour the remaining water over the pulp in the strainer to remove any sugar or juice that stayed behind. Stir and serve immediately over crushed ice. Makes a little over 1 quart.

16 thoughts on “Recipe Redux: Brazilian Lemonade

    1. Yep! JUst quarter the limes and toss them in. You strain the liquid to get the lime chunks out after blending, but leaving the peel on gives it a kick that adding regular lime juice doesn’t have.

  1. The “million different kinds of delicious grilled meats on dangerously long skewers” is called “churrasco” (pronounced something like “shoohaskoo”) and it comes from South of Brazil, more specifically the state of Rio Grande do Sul (where my father and mother were from; my father was actually a “gaúcho” and actually tamed horses in the little farm he lived in). This “Brazilian” lemonade is certainly a new fashion and I have never heard of it. I’m quite surprised that they added sugar to sweetened condensed milk and it did not taste too sweet! What we used to drink in Rio (they had this wonderful juice “shop” in Copacabana we used to go all the time) was called “Limonada Suiça” (Swiss Limeade) and had a special kind of lime blended (skin and all) with water a some sugar, strained and served over ice. Yum, yum, yum! I wonder if they still have this kind of shops in Rio…

  2. I made this today for my son’s graduation and am so disappointed! It is so terribly bitter. At first I thought I made a mistake by leaving the peels on. I was really excited for this and wish I could figure out what is wrong. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Laurie! I’m so sorry the drink didn’t turn out for your son’s graduation! If you make it too far ahead of time, it does get more and more and more bitter as it sits. I usually make it and serve it immediately. I hope that helps. If you DID make it and serve it right away and it was STILL bitter, let me know.

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