Mexican Limonada (Refreshing Sparkling Limeade)

If you’ve heard of a naranjada, you’ve most definitely heard of limonada. It’s Mexico’s version of sparkling limeade and is made with fresh lime juice, sugar (or simple syrup), and mineral water. It’s the ultimate thirst quencher, especially in the summer!

limonada

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Vitamin C: Since I use freshly squeezed lime juice for this authentic agua fresca recipe, it contains immune-boosting vitamin C.
  • No artificial sweeteners: I make homemade simple syrup out of equal parts organic cane sugar and water.
  • Sparkling twist: While traditional aguas frescas are typically still (non-carbonated), limonada incorporates sparkling water, adding a lively effervescence to the drink.

WHAT IS AGUA FRESCA?

Agua fresca literally translates to fresh, cold, or refreshing water, but literal translations do little to describe the true essence of these fruit-forward and fun drinks. This is true of the translation of melon water – this name just misses the mark!

These non-alcoholic beverages are typically made by blending water and sugar with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Some are also made with dry ingredients such as rice, tamarind pods, and hibiscus, which are Mexican pantry staples. 

According to the author and Mexican confections queen, Fany Gerson, aguas frescas have indigenous roots. “When Aztecs traveled from their farmlands to the markets in Tenochtitlan (what is now Mexico City), they would paddle through channels in the valley’s wetlands and mash some ripe fruit with water as a way to refresh themselves through the journey.”

Nowadays, aguas frescas are available just about everywhere in Mexico, from street-side food stands and ice cream shops in rural towns, to high-end restaurants in large cities. They are fresh, diversified, and vibrant and are part of daily life and culture in Mexico. They’re also perfect to drink during warm summer months.

Aguas Frescas in Mexico

WHAT IS LIMONADA?

Not to be confused with agua de limónlimonada is a type of agua fresca made with freshly squeezed lime juice, sugar (or simple syrup), and sparkling or mineral water. Agua de limón, on the other hand, is made with still water.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • limonada, which is made with fresh lime juice and is sometimes referred to as limeade, sparkling lime agua fresca, or limonada preparada, is served with mineral water in Mexico.
  • Naranjada, which is made with oranges and is sometimes referred to as orangeade, is also served with mineral water.
  • Agua de naranja and agua de limón are made with still water.
  • So when asked, “¿con agua natural o agua mineral?” be sure to know the difference.
limonada

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED

  • Limes: I prefer the smaller Mexican or key limes for this recipe, but the regular larger ones will also work. You can also use a mix of both.
  • Mineral water: I like to use Jarritos or Topo Chico, both Mexican brands, for a truly Mexican drink experience, but any mineral water will work. Sparkling water will also work in this recipe.
  • Simple syrup: Make your own simple syrup by boiling one cup of water with one cup of sugar until it is completely dissolved. You can also just use granulated sugar as your sweetener for this recipe.
limonada

RECOMMENDED BY LOLA

Small, Handheld Citrus Press

lemon juicer

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

1. Prepare lime juice

  • Cut limes in half using a citrus press, then extract the juice.
limonada

2. Mix ingredients

  • Fill glasses halfway with ice, mix in 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice into approximately 12 ounces of mineral water.
  • PRO TIP: Mix it with the mineral or sparkling water just before serving to preserve the fizziness of the drink.
  • Add simple syrup (or your sweetener of choice), to taste. Start with one tablespoon at a time until drink reaches desired sweetness.
limeade

3. Serve and enjoy

  • Serve and enjoy immediately.
limonada

RECIPE VARIATIONS

  • Use your favorite sweetener. I make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts water and sugar, but you can use regular sugar, honey, agave, or your sweetener of choice to make this recipe.
  • Try it with different citrus fruits. Lemons, tangerines, Valencia, Cara Cara, or blood oranges will be delicious in this recipe as well.
  • For a milky twist, add sweetened condensed milk.

HOW TO STORE

Aguas frescas are best served as soon as you make them – especially this one because it’s made with mineral water and you want it to stay fizzy. You can store your fresh lime juice and simple syrup in an airtight jar in the refrigerator and mix in the bubbly water just before serving.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is limonada made of?

Lime most recipes, this depends on who you ask! Many countries in Latin America have their own version limonda. I’ve tasted one in Colombia made with coconut milk and Brazilian limeade is made with sweeten condensed milk. Both are delicious. In Mexico, however, limonada is made with fresh lime juice, mineral water, and sugar or simple syrup. It is also referred to as limonada preparada or agua de limón con gas.

What is the difference between Mexican limonada and agua de limón?

Mexican limonada and agua de limón are both refreshing citrus drinks, but they differ in key aspects. Limonada is essentially limeade made with limes, sugar, and mineral water for a fizzy twist.

Agua de limón, on the other hand, typically uses only limes and is a more straightforward blend of lime juice, water, and sugar, served still rather than sparkling. While both drinks are popular and refreshing, the carbonation in limonada is what sets it apart from agua de limón.

LOOKING FOR MORE INSPIRATION?

Mexican Limonada (Refreshing Sparkling Limeade)

Mexican Limonada (Refreshing Sparkling Limeade)

by Lola Dweck
Mexican sparkling limeade, or limonada, is made with fresh lime juice, sugar, and mineral water. It’s the ultimate thirst quencher!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2
Calories 115 kcal

Equipment

  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Citrus press (small)
  • Measuring cups
  • Pitcher
  • Glasses for serving

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup ice
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 12 ounces mineral water club soda or sparkling water will also work
  • 4 tablespoons simple syrup or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prepare lime juice. Cut limes in half using a citrus press, extract juice.
  • Mix ingredients. Fill 2 glasses halfway with ice, mix in 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice into each glass with approximately 6 – 8 ounces of mineral water.
    PRO TIP: Mix in the mineral or sparkling water just before serving to preserve the fizziness of the drink. Add simple syrup (or your sweetener of choice), to taste. Start with one tablespoon at a time until drink reaches desired sweetness.
  • Serve and enjoy immediately.

A Note from Lola

RECIPE VARIATIONS
  • Use your favorite sweetener. I make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts water and sugar, but you can use regular sugar, honey, agave, or your sweetener of choice to make this recipe.
  • Try it with different citrus fruits. Lemons, tangerines, Valencia, cara cara, or blood oranges will be delicious in this recipe as well.
  • For a milky twist, add sweetened condensed milk.
 
HOW TO STORE
  • Aguas frescas are best served as soon as you make them – especially this one because it’s made with mineral or sparkling water and you want it to stay fizzy.
  • You can store your fresh lime juice and simple syrup in an airtight jar in the refrigerator and mix in the bubbly water just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 8ouncesCalories: 115kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 31mgPotassium: 60mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 12.5gVitamin A: 15IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mg
115
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Lola’s Cocina is a small business that earns various revenue streams. This includes sponsored posts and affiliate commissions from linked products, which I use and love, at no extra cost to readers. This income helps sustains the site. 

Lola Wiarco Dweck

Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.

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