Brazilian Limeade (Limonada Suíça) and Carnival


Call me crazy, but even in these chilly temperatures I still enjoy a super-refreshing and quick Brazilian Limeade (or Limonada Suíça, literally translated as Swiss Lemonade). It is as good as having ice cream in the winter! Limes (with the peel on), water, sugar, and ice are thrown into a kitchen blender, and combined to produce a pungent, quenching drink that is easier to prepare than regular lemonade. No simple syrup or squeezed limes are necessary, babe!


Since I won’t get to be there in summery Brazil celebrating Carnival this year, I will sip my Brazilian limeade while  listening to my favorite Carnival rhythms: the contagious frevo, axé, and samba!

When you think Carnival, Rio de Janeiro may come to mind…But actually, one of the best places to celebrate Carnival is in my hometown, Recife.  Galo da Madrugada is simply named in the ‘The Guinness Book of World Records’ as the biggest Carnival parade in the world, joining together more than 2.5 million participants — dressed in typical costumes and dancing frevo and other rhythms in the streets of downtown Recife, where gigantic dolls are displayed.  


Carnival in Recife (by permission of Diário de Pernambuco).

During these festivities many beverages are consumed, including Brazilian limeade — actually known  in Brazil as “Swiss lemonade.”  I am not sure exactly why it is called Swiss lemonade — perhaps because in some areas of Brazil sweetened condensed milk from Nestlé, a Swiss company, is added to the drink. Although I am a fan of sweetened condensed milk, I personally prefer my limeade without it. Brazilian limeade is one of those quenching beverages that is perfect just as it is,  in my humble opinion.

In addition, limes are actually called lemons in Brazil.  This is why back home Brazilian limeade is actually a lemonade — known as “Swiss” Lemonade or Limonada Suíça. :)


Whether Brazilian or Swiss, Limeade or Lemonade, the thing is DE-LI-CIOUS!  Cheers!!!!



5.0 from 1 reviews
Brazilian Limeade (Limonada Suíça)
Prep time
Total time
Brazilian Limeade is prepared with 4 ingredients thrown in the kitchen blender, producing the most simple and quenching lime drink ever. NO simple syrup or squeezed limes are necessary!
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Brazilian
Serves: 6
  • 3 limes (skin on), washed, quartered, and seeds removed
  • 5 cups cold water
  • 1 cup (or more) granulated sugar or another sweetener of your choice
  • Ice cubes
  1. Place the limes, water, and sugar in a blender. Blend for about 1-2 minutes or until fairly smooth. Strain limeade into a pitcher to remove the bits of skin and pith. Place ice into medium glasses and pour limeade. Serve immediately to avoid the drink from becoming bitter.
1. If desired, you can stir in 2-4 Tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk after straining the limeade. I personally prefer mine without it!
2. Some recipes call for removing both lime skin and pith, using only the pulp. Others call for substituting soda lemonade for water.

A special thanks to Diário de Pernambuco for permitting me to use their gorgeous Carnival photo montage! (Obrigado, Diário de Pernambuco, por nos permitir usar a sua linda foto montagem neste artigo!)


21 Responses to Brazilian Limeade (Limonada Suíça) and Carnival

  1. Amira 9 February, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

    OMG this is one of the thirst quenching drinks for us in Egypt. Me too, I do not like it with condensed milk. Limes are also called lemons in the Arab region and we call this drink LEMONADA 😉 so much in common. I have a question though, how do you get rid of the bitterness that the skin adds? I always find it better when the skin is removed.
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    • Denise Browning 9 February, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

      Hi, Amira! The skin produces bitterness which is balanced with the added sugar. This way, this limeade is neither too sweet nor too bitter. But it has to be drunken immediately in order to avoid becoming very bitter. There are people who prefer to remove the skin and make this limeade only with the pulp. I enjoy both ways.

  2. Rekha 9 February, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    Indeed this is delicious! Love it and great pics Denise:-)
    Rekha recently posted…Malli aracha kozhi curryMy Profile

  3. Raymund 10 February, 2015 at 1:23 am #

    This is perfect for our hot and humid summer here, I just wish limes are cheaper, from where I am its $20 a kilo
    Raymund recently posted…Corn MuffinsMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 10 February, 2015 at 10:06 am #

      Whoa!!!! Limes are very expensive then in NZ, Raymund! Here in Texas, one lime usually costs 15 cents… I paid 45 cents for 3 limes to make this limeade. What a difference!

  4. Deb|EastofEdenCooking 10 February, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    It may be winter but it is also citrus season! I adore this new-to-me recipe, it is so much easier than lemonade!

  5. Juliana 10 February, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    I didn’t know that this kind of limonada was called Suica…I sure love this but have not made this for a while…thanks for the reminder Denise…the pictures are gorgeous! Oh! I used to add a touch of condensed milk…
    Enjoy your week my dear :)

  6. Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine 10 February, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

    I’m with you Denise, lemonade always sounds good! And yours sounds wonderful. Pinned!
    Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine recently posted…Red Velvet Meringue KissesMy Profile

  7. Coffee and Crumpets 10 February, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    This limeade looks wonderful! If you think about it, winter is the time citrus is in season…so it’s perefctly normal,to want to drink this in the winter! I love lemonade and limeades all year round though, and I love ice cream in the winter and here in Colorado, it really is chilly!
    Still, I could easily drink a glass or two of this.
    Coffee and Crumpets recently posted…Blood Orange TorteMy Profile

  8. What a vibrant beverage Denise! I eat ice cream in the winter and so I’m happy to drink lemonade as well. I love the combination of lemons and limes. So refreshing and I can’t wait to try it! : )
    [email protected] recently posted…Aviation CocktailMy Profile

  9. Julia | 11 February, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    Brazilian carnivals sound so fun! Love the pictures of the carnival in your hometown that you posted. And that limeade looks so delicious, too, it would probably be good with some alcohol mixed in too! :)
    Julia | recently posted…Asian Sesame Chicken and NoodlesMy Profile

  10. Never been to Brazilian carnival — would love to go someday. Would love some of this limeade, too. I make lemonade often — don’t know why I never think to try the lime version. Thanks for this!
    [email protected] Riffs recently posted…Red Beans and Rice SoupMy Profile

  11. Liz 12 February, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    I actually prefer limeade over lemonade—and I’m certain I’d love your homemade version, Denise :)
    Liz recently posted…Mascarpone Filled Chocolate Covered Strawberries #ValentinesDayMy Profile

  12. francesca 13 February, 2015 at 1:42 am #

    all the makings of a great caipirinha : D This reminds me of italian granita!

  13. Mi Vida en un Dulce 13 February, 2015 at 7:54 am #

    Oh…CARNAVAL!!! And yes, most people think in Rio than a different city in Brazil.
    Mi Vida en un Dulce recently posted…Mug Cake de Chocolate…o como dice Adri: Queque de Chocolate en tazaMy Profile

  14. Shashi RunninSrilankan 13 February, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    This lemonade of yours is making me crave summer more!

  15. Amy (Savory Moments) 15 February, 2015 at 7:37 am #

    This looks so refreshing and tasty! I really enjoy limeade, but haven’t made it at home before. I’ll need to give it a try!
    Amy (Savory Moments) recently posted…Chicken and biscuit skillet pieMy Profile

  16. Anna @ shenANNAgans 16 February, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

    What a treat…. It’s stinkin hot here at the moment, reckon a glass of Limeade would go down a real treat. Limes are a tad expensive, but if the end result is this, totes worth it. :) Also, add a splash of white spirit and you’ve got yourself a party for the tastebuds. LOL!
    Anna @ shenANNAgans recently posted…Meet Clayton from ‘Without Borders’ or ‘Chefs Run Wild’My Profile

  17. Pang @circahappy 26 April, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

    This is my new favourite drink. No need for syrup & fuss!!! What a treat :)


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