There are a few things I love about living in California and the number one reason is the fresh produce that surrounds my area. I love going to the local farmer’s markets (there are about 4 within 10 miles of my hometown). A lot of times, when I see all the produce on the tables, recipes pop in my mind. Some tried and true, others are experiments. If I don’t purchase anything at the farmer’s market, I am lucky to have good friends who have their own gardens who love to share their bounty.
There are times when I have so much, I need to do something with what I have or else it goes to waste. This was such a time. I had so much cilantro but I didn’t want it to go to waste. I chopped, minced and pureed it adding it to so many dishes, I started to think it was multiplying overnight. I also had a large bag of limes just waiting to be used. My son loves limeade so I thought I’d make my own.
I just happened to see a recipe for a limeade using cilantro and jalapeno from MyRecipes via Facebook. Funny how things like that work – you think of something (or someone) and what you need falls in your lap.
Now, this limeade has an interesting flavor, one where people will try to figure out what it is they are tasting. It is a familiar taste, but one that’s unexpected. I kept offering this limeade to people just to watch their reactions and see how far it would go until they asked what it’s made of.
I found that the longer this limeade sits, the stronger the flavor. Of course, you can add a shot of tequila (for adults, please…) to make a great cocktail. This is a perfect drink to have at a backyard BBQ, to take in a cooler on a raft floating down the river or just because. Just make sure you have tons of limes and cilantro at the ready…..
- 4½ cups water
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup agave nectar
- 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 9 lime wedges, divided
- 1½ cups fresh lime juice (about 10 limes worth)
- 4 cups ice
- Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro and jalapeno. Let it stand for 30 minutes.
- Pour jalapeno mixture into a large bowl - cover and chill at least 3 hours.
- Combine 2 Tbs. sugar and salt in a shallow dish. Rub rims of 8 glasses with 1 lime wedge. Dip the rims of the glasses in the sugar/salt mixture.
- Strain cilantro mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, discarding solids. Stir in lime juice. Fill each prepared glass with ½ cup ice. Add limeade and garnish each with remaining 8 lime wedges.