Even if it is already August, as you know Labna does not go on vacation and will keep you company throughout the final weeks of this long, hot summer. I thought it would be nice to start the hottest month of the year with a post dedicated to a cool and refreshing thirst-quenching summer drink I love, limonana, probably the most popular Israeli beverage there is.
Limonana is just lemonade with mint (nana is mint in Hebrew, so limonana is just a portmanteau of the two words for lemon and mint), and it can take on two forms, regular or frozen.
There is a very funny story behind the invention of this drink, by the way – as Wikipedia explains. The word was coined for a campaign to promote advertising on buses, in which various celebrities were shown in pictures on the buses promoting a fictitious product called “limonana”. The point of the exercise was to prove that advertising on buses is effective… and it really was: the imaginary drink caught the attention of everyone in Israel and quickly became a local favorite in all cafes and restaurants.
- 1.5 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more to decorate
- ice, about 3 cups
- Bring half of the water to a rolling boil in a small saucepan over high heat, then pour in the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let the water come back to room temperature.3/4 cup sugar, 2 cups water
- At this point, there are two ways to proceed. If you have a powerful blender, blend water, lemon juice, mint, and ice into a liquid similar to a slushie. If, instead, you believe that your blender will not survive crushing the ice, just crush the mint inside a cup with the lemon juice and the sugary water using a cocktail muddler tool, then strain the liquid and dilute it with the remaining water and serve over ice.1.5 cup lemon juice, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more to decorate, ice, about 3 cups
- Serve limonana ice-cold, garnishing the glass with a slice of lemon and some mint leaves.