If you can’t make it to a nearby Cafe Rio, let’s at least pretend you can – this Copycat Mint Limeade is perfect for spring and summer!
For the Syrup
- 1 3/4 cups white sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2–3 sprigs fresh mint (just mint, not peppermint or spearmint)
For the Limeade
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
- 8–10 cups cold water
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
For the Garnishes
- Fresh mint sprigs
- Fresh lime slices
- 1/2 cup sugar + freshly grated zest of 1 lime combined (for sugaring the rims of the glasses)
- Combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and strain the mint leaves. Allow to cool at room temperature or place in the refrigerator. The syrup can be made a few days ahead of time.
- When ready to serve, place the chopped mint leaves in the bottom of the serving pitcher. Add the syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice, and 8 cups of cold water. Taste and add additional water to taste (if necessary). If serving over ice, you might want to make it a tiny bit sweeter than you would normally like to account for the dilution from the melted ice.
- To make the lime sugar for the rims of the glasses, mix the zest of one lime with 1/2 cup sugar. Using a damp paper towel, wipe around the rim of each glass and then invert the glass into the lime sugar. Carefully fill the sugar-rimmed glasses with ice cubes and pour the limeade into the glasses to serve.
Strawberry Mint Limeade
- After pouring into glasses, add a spoonful or two of strawberry sauce to taste. Other berries like blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries can be substituted for strawberries in the sauce to make other variations.
- Serving Size: 12