The Israeli Summer, aka Sparkling Limonana

Limonana – refreshing lemonade infused with mint (nana, in Hebrew) – is the national drink of Israel. It’s sold year round as soda and juice flavors and come summertime this is practically all anyone drinks. Considering how ubiquitous the beverage is in Israel, and how simple and delicious it is, I can’t believe it isn’t more popular worldwide. It is just sweetened lemonade with mint sprigs, and often it is blended with ice to make a frothy bright green drink.

For my version, I use mint simple syrup (remember that recipe from the other day?) and add seltzer for a bubbly, possibly even more refreshing, rendition. We have a seltzer maker (yes, we are obsessed), but of course store bought seltzer is just fine. For a grown-up version add gin and you’ll have something close to one of my favorite cocktails, the Southside.

What do you drink to cool down when it’s a million degrees out?

The Israeli Summer, aka Sparkling Limonana

Yield: 1 drink

INGREDIENTS:
3 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ ounce mint simple syrup (recipe here)
Seltzer
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

METHOD:
In a glass combine the lemon juice and mint simple syrup. Stir to combine. Top with seltzer (I used a small glass and so used about 1 ounce to top, but you can add more seltzer for an even lighter drink). Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.

This recipe was selected as a food52 Editor’s Pick!

Testing notes from recipe tester paninfusion: On a hot summer day, a sip of this sparkling drink is like an answer to ones prayers. The steps detailed in the recipe are meticulous. The mint leaves steeping in the warm simple syrup emit an aroma that fills the kitchen, literally like a cool breath of fresh air. When combined with the freshly squeezed lemon juice and chilled seltzer, the drink is sheer bliss. An instantly cooling flavor of mint permeates the nostrils and marries perfectly with the citrusy tartness of the lemon. I tried it with both lemon and lime and could not decide which was better!


10 Comments

  1. I’m loving this refreshing lemon and mint drink;-)

  2. I love homemade lemonade! And I love mint… it always reminds me of my summer holidays in Sicily! I am saving this recipe, I would love to make it in spring/summer!!! Thanks for sharing it Katherine!

    • Katherine

      Ah, summer holidays in Sicily! Sounds lovely. I hope you enjoy! I also enjoy all manner of homemade lemonade.

  3. Just came from Carolyn’s Secret Recipe post and I’m so glad to have found your blog! Gorgeous photos and this lemon beverage is simply a perfect summer by the pool treat. Nicely done!

    • Katherine

      Thank you so much! Ahh, this would be just lovely poolside!!

  4. I had leftover mint and was wondering what to do w/ it– so made this tonight (w/ vodka)!

  5. This sounds so refreshing – I’ve never heard of limonana, but lemon and mint sound like a wonderful combination!

    • Katherine

      It is a natural combo! The word limonana is actually a combination of the word for lemon (limon) and mint (nana) in Hebrew. Fun fact!

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