Limonada (Brazilian Lemonade) Recipe (2024)

By Gabriella Lewis

Updated Oct. 12, 2023

Limonada (Brazilian Lemonade) Recipe (1)

Total Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Read community notes

Creamy, frosty and tart, this popular Brazilian drink is a fantastic refreshment for a hot day. In Brazil, it’s also known as limonada Suíça, which translates to Swiss lemonade, because it typically includes sweetened condensed milk, which was marketed by the Swiss company Nestlé in Brazil in the 1940s. Sweetened condensed milk is essential to Brazilian sweets, including desserts like brigadeiros. A shelf-stable dairy product that doesn’t curdle in the presence of acid, it gets blended here with limes, sugar, ice and water to make this tangy beverage creamy. Limonada Suíça always includes condensed milk, but limonada sometimes leaves it out. And even though it’s called lemonade, it often uses limes since the word limão is often used interchangeably for lemons and limes in Portuguese. Pulsing the entire lime into this drink adds an extra layer of brightness and depth from the rind. This drink takes only minutes to blend and is best served immediately.

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Yield:6 servings

  • 4limes, scrubbed and washed, plus wedges or wheels for serving
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 7ounces sweetened condensed milk (or, for a dairy-free version, use 7 ounces sweetened condensed coconut milk)
  • 4cups cold water
  • 4cups ice, plus more for serving

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

163 calories; 3 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 1 gram monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 34 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 30 grams sugars; 3 grams protein; 56 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Limonada (Brazilian Lemonade) Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Cut off and discard the tips of the limes, then cut the limes in quarters.

  2. Working in batches if your blender is smaller, pulse limes, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, water and ice in a blender 5 to 8 times until the ingredients are just combined. You’re looking to extract flavor from the limes, but not to pulverize them, which can make the drink too bitter. Pieces of lime rind may still be visible.

  3. Step


    Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher or bowl with a spout. Use the back of a spoon to push out as much liquid as possible; discard the solids.

  4. Step


    Divide among tall, ice-filled glasses, garnish with lime wedges and serve immediately.



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Cooking Notes


I know we are all thinking this…what alcohol would pair best to make this an adult beverage?


I am thinking of using cream of coconut rather than condensed milk and adding RUM for an adult indulgence.

Siri C

I have lived in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil for 40 years and have never heard of adding sweetened condensed milk (aka “Leite Moça”) to Limonada Suíça. We blend the cut up line with sugar or sweetener, water and ice and serve in a tall glass with a straw. Very refreshing on a hot day!

Big Talulah

Ok we made this and it was delicious albeit quite messy… my brother in law then proceeded to just mix storebought limeaid with condensed milk and zested a lime over top, poured it over crushed ice and it was, dare I say better??


Or cachaca, Brazilian rum.


I have never heard of this luscious offering and the idea of whirring whole limes seemed crazy. And, I'm not a fan of sweetened condensed milk, which to me seems fake and cloying. BUT, this was wonderful. Tart, sweet, light, refreshing. Thank you for sharing!

Jake Romero

This would be a fantastic party punch with silver rum, vodka, or tequila!!!!


If you want to pair it with alcohol, ditch the condensed milk and add cachaça from Brazil and you have a caipirinha like drink


I peel half the limes, and the white stuff on the wedges, as you would for a caipirinha, otherwise its too bitter--Amy, try with half-peeled limes and see. As for it keeping for 3 days, well, I guess technically it does, but it might be undrinkable by then: the longer it sits, the bitterer it gets. In Brazil, we make it and serve it, since no one likes "limonada azeda"!


Made exactly as recipe states. The first glass fresh out of the blender was great, but as it set in the refrigerator it seemed to become much more bitter. Next time I might peel some of the limes to avoid extra bitterness. Also an extra lime or two would be great if you like it more sour.


Coconut milk or cream and honey?


But the song says you put the lime in the coconut, not the other way around! Seriously though I will try this since I'm not a fan of too much sweetness. I have been buying Outshine Lime and Coconut popsicles lately and this will scratch both itches.


Gin and lime, that’s a great combo.


Yes, and it was a disaster; limes bounced around and water spilled out the sides. When it was all done I was left with a mess and no limonada. BTW, condensed milk is certainly optional--plenty of limonodas suíças are made with sugar, and it's more refreshing that way on a hot day. And yes, it is delicious mixed with cachaça.


I am using Nature's Charm Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk, but regular sugar. Monk Fruit, agave syrup, or honey may be a good sub.


Made it with dulce du Leche and a sour mandarins. Kind of a dreamsicle. Tasty. Next time I'll try it as written.

erin b

I omitted the sugar and it was perfect. Rum or tequila would make excellent additions for an adult version.


Soooooo addictively good! Very easy and I used this recipe as inspiration for a big batch party punch, but a spiked version. Rather than juice a ton of limes (I was serving 40 people), I used frozen Lime-aid, added lime-flavored gin, and of course the sweetened condensed milk, and ice cubes... blended a couple minutes in the blender, topped with club soda, and voila! A delish crowd-pleasing punch. (It was also fine without the gin if you want an NA version)


I made a batch this weekend for some guests from Brazil but subbed a tin of coconut milk and agave syrup. It was SO delicious and they loved it. Can’t wait to make it again! Great concept.


Made 1/2 recipe using some lemons I had left over. I had already grated the peel so I just juiced the lemons ahead of time and didn’t use the pith. I had a 3.5 oz can of condensed milk and only added about 1 tablespoon of sugar after a first taste. 2 cups each of water and ice. Let the blender whir it up for a minute and didn’t strain since there weren’t any fruit pieced. Very refreshing on a hot humid day!


Make sure to thoroughly think about how much your blender can handle. I split the recipe in half to be on the safe side in a blender that can hold about 6 cups.


I love the idea of using water as opposed to condensed milk, but nothing wrong with using rum, vodka whatever your choice.


This is delish. I excluded the sugar and used sparkling water the second time and it was terrific.


I agree with peeling at least half of limes because all of the pith makes it bitter. I refrigerated leftovers, which were even more bitter the next day, unable to drink bitter. I found the sweetened condensed coconut milk in the baking aisle, and that was a great find.


This is sooooo sweet, too sweet for me personally. I was surprised by the 1/3 cup sugar plus condensed milk. If I was to try again I would just do the condensed milk and maybe add a little sugar if need be.


Made this with just a little less sugar, it was SO refreshing and amazing! I think the key is to really only pulse 6-8 times, as I did not get any of the bitterness other commenters were talking about. I also kept the other half in the fridge and it still tasted great the next day.

Alexander W

Scaled-down ingredients (makes two 8-oz servings):1 lime1 cup ice1 cup cold water3 Tbsp 1 tsp sweetened condensed milk4 tsp sugar

Lauren K

This is delicious, blended it up as directed. After blending and straining shook it in a shaker with a shot of vodka and ice, if you’re gonna do that I’d say cut way back on the water.


I have made this a few times and to eliminate the bitterness, I put the water and condensed milk in first and blended them for about 30 seconds to combine thoroughly. Next I put two cups of ice in then the limes and then two more cups of ice. I pulsed the blender eight times for 1-2 seconds each time. Then I quickly strained the mixture into a cheap Ikea bottle with a locking stopper and it stays good for several days.


This is our new favorite this summer. It is so refreshing made just as the recipe describes, but it’s also good with tequila.

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Limonada (Brazilian Lemonade) Recipe (2024)


What is Brazilian lemonade made of? ›

Brazilian lemonade aka Limonada suíça a refreshing cold drink. It's made of limes, sugar, condensed milk, water and ice it's then mixed in a blender. This frothy, sweet and creamy lemonade is the perfect way to combat the sweltering summer heat that's just around the corner!

What is limonada made of? ›

It's made from lime juice, sugar and water and can be served hot or cold depending on the season. While regular lemonade uses lemons as its main source of flavor, Mexican limonada takes it one step further by using lime juice with a bit of salt to give it an extra zing!

Why is Brazilian lemonade bitter? ›

This white part of the lime, also known as the pith, is what makes it bitter. Now put both of these peeled limes. right into the blender. along with the zest that we just grated.

Why does Brazilian lemonade use limes? ›

The reason why Brazilian lemonade is called a lemonade and not a limeade is due to some simple translation differences. In Portuguese, limão is the term for lime, so it's preferred to call the drink limonada.

Why is it called Brazilian lemonade? ›

However, the common theory behind the name is due to the condensed milk added, which the Swiss company, Nestlé, marketed to Brazilians in the mid-20th century. As it trickled down through the American pipeline, the name became commonly known as "Brazilian Lemonade."

What is the famous Brazilian drink? ›

Chances are high you encountered Brazil's national drink, the Caipirinha, if you've traveled to the South American country. Refreshing and easy to make, the co*cktail contains fresh lime juice, sugar and cachaça.

What is limonada con soda made of? ›

Limonada con soda is a thirst-quenching drink made with fresh squeezed lime juice, sugar, and carbonated mineral water. A popular drink in Guatamala, this beverage is a must-drink if you ever visit this gorgeous country.

Where is Brazilian lemonade from? ›

Made with fresh limes, water and condensed milk, it's both tart and sweet. Brazilian lemonade originated in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. The drink is believed to have been invented by a street vendor who sold a concoction made from limes, sugar, and water.

Why do Latinos call limes lemons? ›

In Spanish, the words "lime" and "lemon" are not interchangeable and they refer to different fruits. The word for "lime" in Spanish is "lima", while the word for "lemon" is "limón". In general, limes are smaller and greener than lemons, and they have a distinct flavor that is often used in Latin American cuisine.

What is the most popular soft drink in Brazil? ›

In Brazil, Guaraná is a flavor of soda and a delicious flavor at that. Guaraná Antarctica is the most popular (and seemingly only) brand and is the second most popular soda in Brazil (behind only co*ke, who produces a brand of Guaraná soda called Kuat! – not that good). Diet (aka inferior).

What are limes called in Brazil? ›

After learning that the Portuguese for lime is limão, I wondered what the word for lemon was. The answer? Limão.

Do Brazilians call limes lemons? ›

The reason why Brazilian lemonade is called a lemonade and not a limeade is due to the translation. In Portuguese, limão is the term for lime, so everyone calls it limonada.

Why do Mexicans eat limes? ›

When it comes to food, lime is a great way to add a tart and acidic flavor that can really brighten up a dish. It's often used in Mexican cuisine, where it pairs well with spicy dishes. But it can also be used in more subtle ways, as a way to add brightness to flavors that might otherwise be a little bland.

What color are lemons in Brazil? ›

Lemons in Brazil are green 😱 the lemons usually found in the US (and here too) are called Sicilian lemons.

Are Brazilian lemons limes? ›

This Brazilian lemonade—the latest viral drink on the internet—lives up to the hype! To clear things up, this lemonade is not made from lemons but from limes.

Is Dole lemonade real lemonade? ›

Made with real sugar and real lemon juice, Dole® Lemonade is real lemonade, real delicious.

Are Brazilian lemons green? ›

Lemons in Brazil are green 😱 the lemons usually found in the US (and here too) are called Sicilian lemons.

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