All it took was a TikToker proclaiming Brazilian lemonade to be "heaven in a cup" to make me drag out the blender, buy a bag of limes and give this very simple recipe a go. I did, however, have a sneaking suspicion it would make me sick to my stomach. After all, if we've learned anything from social media, one person's heavenly libation is another's hellish concoction.
@gracie_norton tried Brazilian Lemonade for the first time the other day & fell in love! 🤍 (i used coconut condensed milk instead of regular condensed milk) #easyrecipes #drinkrecipes #brazilianlemonade #quickrecipes ♬ Sweet Sunset - Tollan Kim & dulai
Why Is It Called Brazilian Lemonade?
Yes, there's nary a lemon in this stuff, but there's a reason for this. Lemons aren't common in Brazil, and the Portuguese word for limeade is limonada. To make this even more confusing, this drink is called Swiss Lemonade in Brazil, because the Nestle brand of condensed milk that many Brazilians use has a Swiss milkmaid on the wrapper. This all goes to show it's best not to spend time worrying about this when you can just go ahead and make it.
The Brazilian Lemonade Recipe
This recipe is weird, yes, but very, very simple. Here are the steps:
- Take three limes, quarter them, and toss them in the blender with three cups of water. No, don't peel them.
- Blend for no longer than 30 seconds lest the limes begin to "taste really bitter," per the TikToker. (Look, I don't know why or if that really happens, but I wasn't going to risk it.)
- Strain the solid stuff out and pour the liquid back in the blender.
- Add a handful of ice and add half a container of sweetened condensed milk.
- Blend again and serve with ice.
So, yes, the recipe is easy. The Tiktoker also notes in another video that you can pre-freeze th limes, use coconut condensed milk, or use agave-sweetened coconut milk.
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I'll be honest — just the thought of throwing three limes in the blender, skins and all, made my stomach hurt. It sounded too gooey, too acidic, and not entirely pleasant. I didn't care if some random TikTokers thought this was the bomb, I was not going to make this for any other reason than writing about it. But if you like how it sounds, it's too easy not to give it a shot.
Related: 25 Cheap and Easy Lemonade Recipes
How Does Brazilian Lemonade Taste?
While my younger kid gave this a 10 out of 10, I'm pretty sure she would be thrilled with drinking the sweetened condensed milk straight from the can, and she did admit not liking the bits of lime rind that made it through the strainer (you can strain it twice for a better consistency). My husband thought it was too acidic, and my other kid thought it was just OK.
While I didn't get a stomachache, I didn't drink more than a few sips before passing it around. I agreed that it was too acidic, and the sweetened condensed milk just made it sugary and thick, which didn't appeal to me.
Maybe swigging this down at a summer barbecue would be refreshing, but all I could think about was the sugar content, to say nothing of the calories. If I'm going to swill goopy milk, give me a Vietnamese coffee and skip the limes altogether.