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Thread: Mint Limeade

  1. #1
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    Mint Limeade

    I posted about this is the kitchen equipment forum when I was looking for a citrus juicer recommendation, but this forum doesn't seem to be getting much love so I'll post the actual recipe here. Cafe Rio is a Mexican restaurant chain out west that has several drinks made fresh in the restaurant each day. My favorite is the mint limeade. It really hits the spot on a hot summer afternoon. This is an approximation of their recipe.

    Zest from 4-5 limes
    2-3 sprigs of mint (spearmint, not peppermint)
    1-3/4 cups sugar
    2 cups water
    1-1/2 cups fresh squeezed lime juice (about 12 limes)
    8-10 cups water
    Leaves from 3-4 sprigs of mint, roughly chopped or crushed

    Zest 4-5 limes using a Microplane-type grater. Mix zest into sugar and allow to sit for several hours to a day.
    Combine lime sugar, 2-3 sprigs of mint, and 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Continue boiling for five minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool. Strain out the mint sprigs and most of the zest. (Some zest will likely pass through. That's okay.)
    Squeeze limes to get 1-1/2 cups of juice. Citrus juices are always better if left to sit for at least several hours. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.
    Combine cooled mint/lime syrup, lime juice, chopped mint leaves, with 8 cups of water. Add more water to taste, bearing in mind it will be watered down further if you serve it over ice.

    If you want to get fancy, make up some more lime sugar, moisten rim of serving glass, lightly press into lime sugar. Garnish with additional mint leaves.


    The pitcher I use to make this isn't large enough for a full recipe so I add only four cups of water and then add additional water when serving. This works well except for when my nephew decides to try it without asking and drinks the concentrate straight up. That's one way to keep him out of my mint limeade.

  2. #2
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    How many cups does this make?

    I'm going to try this.

  3. #3
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    I made this.

    Haven't tried it yet.

    Is the crushed mint supposed to mix well? It just floats to the top of the jar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayHeyl View Post


    The pitcher I use to make this isn't large enough for a full recipe so I add only four cups of water and then add additional water when serving. This works well except for when my nephew decides to try it without asking and drinks the concentrate straight up. That's one way to keep him out of my mint limeade.
    I could only add 4 cups of water to my jar too. I'll see how it tastes.

    Otherwise, I'll add more water when serving, too.

  5. #5
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    Also, I couldn't figure out what type of mint was in stores. I went to a few stores, but they just say "mint".

    I looked at pictures of spearmint vs. peppermint online, but I still wasn't sure.

    Oh well.

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    Sorry about the lack of response. I haven't checked this forum in a while. Regarding the yield, you should get about a dozen 8 oz. servings. It seems like I get more than that but I've never actually counted.

    I've read up a bit on the issue of "mint" and haven't found a definitive answer. My personal take on it is recipes where you should definitely use peppermint will specifically call for peppermint. Most recipes where it calls for generic mint they probably mean spearmint. If you have a personal preference you can almost always freely substitute one for the other. I've seen some recipes for peppermint ice cream where it says it won't be the same if you use spearmint. Not necessarily bad, just not the same. I had a good sized spearmint plant in the back yard so that's what I used all summer for this. Last year I had a peppermint plant and I didn't really care for this with the peppermint.

    Mint is fairly hardy and will do fine in a container (actually recommended since it will take over your yard otherwise), so you could grow your own. I've actually seen whole mint plants in the produce section at the grocery store for considerably less than I paid at a nursery this spring. Keep it well watered and give it some fertilizer occasionally and you'll have all the mint you'll need. My plant kept me in mint limeade all summer. (Now if I could just get a lime tree that will survive in zone 5.)

    One thing I noticed was this seemed to be a lot better the second and following days. On the day I made it the lime seemed too sharp and the mint way too far in the background. By the second day everything seemed to have melded much better. I noticed this more than once so I don't think it was just my imagination.

    Did you like the result?

  7. #7
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    Thanks for responding.

    I've made it twice.

    With the container I'm using, I think I get 6 or 7 servings. I'll measure the pitcher size next time to see how many oz it is.

    I've made it twice. I liked it a little more the first time. (I think the limes themselves were better the first time, and I used more limes too).

    It's very refreshing.

    The first time I made it, I didn't have any the first day. So when I had it, it was already the second day. I thought it tasted great right away.

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    Have you tried the Cafe Rio version? It's been several years since I've had theirs so it's difficult remembering the exact taste.

    I believe the pitcher I use holds two liters. With the lime juice, simple syrup, and four cups of water it's very close to full.

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    I have not. I just checked their locations. Closest location is 108 miles from me. But it's somewhere that I might visit 1 - 2 times every 1 - 2 years.

    If I try theirs, I'll let you know.

  10. #10
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    This is my favorite cafe rio drink, I go there to eat frequently. The franchise began here in Utah, there are at least 6-7 within 10 miles of my house. I will definitely be trying this recipe. Thanks for posting!
    Too many Webers to list

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