Bright and refreshing, this Herbal Limeade recipe makes a perfect mocktail or cocktail mixer. Made with fresh limes and garden herbs, a pitcher of this will become your go-to sipper all spring and summer long.
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I’ll never forget the first time I tried Peruvian chicken.
My brother took me to this teeny tiny joint near his place in D.C., and it’s where I fell in love with the flavorful chicken, the sweet plantains, the canary beans, the cilantro rice… Incredible.
After returning to Charlotte, I longed for food like that. I soon discovered Viva Chicken, a Utah chain with a bunch of franchises here in North Carolina.
Last year a location opened up near us, and my husband and I go at least once a month to get our chicken fix.
Their Peruvian chicken fulfills all my memories of that amazing spot in D.C., but one thing stood out: the beverages.
Next to the cash registers stand several drink machines swishing around colorful, freshly mixed juices. You can’t miss them.
The first time I ate at Viva Chicken, a staff member sweetly offered me samples of each one.
Their golden maracuya is made with passionfruit juice. The magenta chicha morada is a mix of purple corn, pineapple and cinnamon.
And then there’s the bright green herbal limeade, made with basil, mint and rosemary.
Don’t get me wrong: I love them all, but I just can’t get enough of that herbal limeade on my visits. It’s a perfect companion to the spiced chicken and of course those sweet plantains.
A few months ago, Chris and I stopped in during an annoying day of car shopping and I decided: I NEED to know how to make this incredible herbal limeade.
So I set out to replicate the incredible herbal flavors and that true green color at home. I am so excited to have figured out this copycat Viva Chicken herbal limeade recipe and couldn’t wait any longer to share it with you!
It will be the perfect green drink to serve at a St. Patrick’s Day party if you so choose! Or you can sip it any time.
What is herbal limeade?
Like lemonade, limeade is made with fresh lime juice and simple syrup.
Herbal limeade is limeade that is blended and infused with three fresh herbs: mint, basil and rosemary.
The result is a homemade version of Viva Chicken’s herbal limeade recipe. If you’re a fan of that, you’ll love drinking this one at home.
I can’t wait to make it during the summer when my herb garden is at its prime!
How to make herbal limeade
Herbal limeade is easy to make. You’ll need a little bit of time, but you can make it with less than 30 minutes of hands-on time.
First, you’ll need to make simple syrup, which you can even make ahead of time. You’ll want it to cool down or you’ll risk “cooking” the herbs. (If they do they’ll turn brown.)
Once the syrup is cooled, throw it into the blender with water, lime zest, fresh lime juice and the herbs. (No stems! An herb stripper is amazing for splitting off the leaves in one fell swoop.)
Blend and strain with a fine mesh strainer. Do it two or three times if needed to remove all the pulp. This is really more personal preference.
And then enjoy it! It’s so good, you will want to make it over and over.
How long does herbal limeade keep?
Store it in the fridge for up to a week. (I use a pitcher like this one.) But if you plan to serve it, make it the same day.
Be warned: Over time, the bright green color from the herbs will turn brown from the cold and from the acidity of the lime juice. It will still taste great, but its color will just be a little less appetizing.
Should you use fresh lime juice or concentrate?
Fresh is always better, if you ask me.
However, I am all for saving time, so if you can find lime juice in your grocery store, go for it. The flavor will only be marginally different.
How to drink herbal limeade
This herbal limeade recipe is fantastic on its own. Me, I like it chilled, without ice.
You can serve it as a non-alcoholic mocktail. Top it with a little club soda to make it sparkling.
No matter how you serve it up, its green color is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations!
- 10 sprigs rosemary
- 10 sprigs basil
- 10 sprigs mint
- 2 cups simple syrup
- 2 cups fresh squeezed lime juice (approximately 16-20 limes)
- zest from 2 limes
- 3 cups cold water
- Wash and pat dry the herbs with a paper towel, then remove the leaves from the stems. (An herb stripper comes in handy!)
- In a blender, combine herb leaves, simple syrup, lime juice, zest and water.
- Pour the limeade into a pitcher or jar through a fine mesh strainer to remove any pulp. Repeat the straining process if desired.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
The color of the herbs may turn brown the longer it is kept in the fridge, but it is still okay to drink.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 1gSugar: 40gProtein: 0g