Limonana: The Accidental Summer Treat

Photo by Evan-Amos

Photo by Evan-Amos

“Did you drink limonana when you were a kid?” people ask me. The answer is no. Lemonade with mint (nana in Arabic) was popular in Syria and Turkey. Israel discovered limonana serendipitously, as a byproduct of an experimental advertising campaign.

Photo by Jonathunder

Photo by Jonathunder

Advertisements were not placed on the sides of buses until the 1990s in Israel. The first experimental ads were for a soft drink that did not exist. The advertising agency named it Limonana. After two weeks, customers and stores started demanding the Limonana. The company had to admit that the Limonana was just a made up product.

Several enterprising restaurant proprietors identified an opportunity, and created a slushy lemonade with fresh mint. The soft drink manufacturers took notice, and started bottling limonana. Now, it is possible to find lemonade with mint, limonana slush, smoothies, yogurts, and sorbets. My favorite way to enjoy limonana is to make a slush. Nothing will cool you down faster on a hot day!

Limonana Slush

  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • Photo by Bernard Gagnon

    Photo by Bernard Gagnon

  • 4 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 bunch (one handful) fresh mint sprigs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  1. Prepare a simple syrup by cooking the sugar and water until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  3. Place the simple syrup, lemon juice, ice cubes, and mint leaves in a blender.
  4. Process until you have a smooth, slushy concoction.


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