Refreshing and Energizing Indian Lemonade

Simple, refreshing lemonade perfect for cooling off on a warm day.

Description

Looking for a quick, simple REFRESHING drink to make to drink on a hot day or when you have friends over?  This lemonade is just the thing because it has only a few ingredients, it’s likely that you have them at home AND guaranteed.  It’s energizing and hydrating – perfect to sip while lounging by the pool or getting ready to have a challenging game of tennis!

Nani or NaniMa is mother’s mother in our Indian language, Gujarati.  My mom makes the most delicious and best best BEST lemonade or limbu pani.  It’s fresh, contains just the right balance of tart and sweet, with the added flavor profile of the cumin seeds.  It’s simple to make and makes that perfect summer day THAT MUCH more perfect.  Not only good for you, it tastes FANTASTIC as well. How about that – a two for one that we can all celebrate.

Even if you aren’t sitting poolside at a fancy resort enjoying a relaxed and wonderful Sunday afternoon, reading Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri — this can put you there energetically. Take a moment to let your mind really go there – beautiful blue sky, the sun shining at JUST THE RIGHT amount of brightness – perhaps a slight breeze – a deep blue infinity pool.  You – under an umbrella, legs long, immersed in a book, perhaps the latest Ann Patchett, with this cold, refreshing drink in your hand.  Dreamy sigh…..You are really living life!

I always feel like a heroine when I make fresh lemonade — but truly, it really is the embodiment of the saying –” easy peasy lemon squeezy!”  It’s THE reason to have a large glass pitcher and a serving tray — how Perfect Hostess will you look when you serve friends a beautiful pitcher of this delicious lemonade?

While store-bought lemonade can be easy to have on hand and lasts a long time,  it’s loaded with bad sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, food coloring, stabilizers, and other unhealthy things we don’t want in our bodies or in our children’s bodies.  I encourage you to try this recipe.  It lasts a week in the fridge – so you can keep it on hand…if you, your kids, and friends don’t drink it all in one afternoon!  

My kids still prefer when Nani makes it – so do I.  She makes it so effortlessly and her flavors are always perfectly balanced.  I make it often – but I must admit, I still have to taste test it multiple times to get the flavor exactly how we love it.  NO matter.  It’s such fun to make and even more fun to drink and EVEN that much more fun to share with your family and friends. I even love beginning with the rolling of the lemons.  Touch is so important and adds to our cooking.  Here, simply rolling the lemons connects us to the main taste in this refreshing.

I remember having it in India when visiting our extended families during the oppressively hot and humid summer.  My mom or favorite aunt, Shama Mami would always serve it as soon as we arrived.  She was such a loving person and would remember all of my favorites – snacks, drinks, and meals.  I still recall with wonder how touching that kind of love is – caring enough to really consider what another person loves to eat.  How that balance of the sour with the sweet was always able to bring up my energy from the journey and the heat.  

If you don’t want it to taste “Indian”,  simply leave out the cumin seeds and you will have fresh homemade lemonade! Do still add in the tiny pinch of salt as it subtly balances the lemon flavor.

Take a moment to close your eyes.  Grounding through your feet, take a deep, smooth inhale.  Let your mind go back to a favorite childhood memory.  Remember the childhood joys of summer and RELISH this moment.  Smile. Find a way to add PLAY and wonder to your day.  Share the story with your kids or friends.  Feel grateful for childhood happiness and memories.

Equipment

  • Lemon juicer, if you have it
  • Strainer if you don’t have juicer, to catch the seeds
  • Tall glass pitcher
  • Tall spoon to stir
  • Mason jar
  • Bowl

Ingredients

  • Juice of one lemon
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Pinch of black salt or himalayan salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey, or more to taste
  • 8 ounces of water
  • Ice
  • Optional: fresh mint or basil from the garden.

Steps

  1. Roll the whole lemon on the counter with the palm of your hand.  Additionally, this helps you to connect to the lemon, which I think makes the juice that much sweeter.  Juice a lemon and remove the seeds.
  2. In a mug, put in a few tablespoons of warm or hot water, add honey, stir to combine well.  You are making a small batch of very simple, simple syrup! 
  3. In a mason jar, add all the lemon juice, cumin seeds, cumin powder, himalayan salt. Mix well.  This is now your magical base.
  4. In a tall glass, add 1 tablespoon of the fresh lemon juice BASE, 1 Tablespoon of the honey simple syrup.  Fill with the desired amount of ice and water. Stir quickly three times.  

Remember the childhood joys of summer and RELISH this moment.  Find a way to add PLAY and wonder to your day.

Tip:  Roll the lemon and the lime on the counter with the palm of your hand three times to help release more juice.  Then, wash the lemon, slice in half, and watch the juice FLOW!

Substitutions

If you are out of lemons, you can certainly use limes.

Storage

This will store well in the mason jar for a week.  It will be very simple to mix up a fresh glass at your whim.  If you make a pitcher of lemonade, it will last in the fridge for 2 or 3 days.  But again – if it’s HOT – it’s unlikely to make it for very long before being consumed.  It’s that good!

Lucky Leftovers

You could add this to freshly made ice tea for the most delicious Arnold Palmer.  As well, this would taste FANTASTIC for cocktail hour with gin, tequila, or vodka.

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