Key limes have a short season–roughly June through the end of August–and they can be hard to track down outside of southern Florida. That’s why I practically squealed when I saw them on sale at Whole Foods the other day. I bought just over a pound’s worth, and promptly used about a quarter of them to make a Key lime pie.
Luckily, I knew exactly what to do with the rest of the tart green fruit. A few months ago, I tried a lime juice drink from an Indian takeout restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut, and loved it so much that I’ve been craving it since. After doing a little research, I came up with a super-simple (single serving) recipe that hit the spot:
*4 ounces of chilled water (for a refreshing cocktail-like drink, use seltzer instead)
*2+ ounces of fresh Key lime juice
*1 tablespoon of sugar or 1 teaspoon of agave syrup (you can use 1/2 to 1 packet of Splenda if you’re trying to go easy on calories or sweets; personally, I prefer regular sugar)
Some limeades, including the one I tried in New Haven, call for cardamom. I didn’t have any on hand, and while I think I’ll buy some to add it to the next batch, it was still delicious without it. Also, if you poke around online, you’ll probably notice that most limeades are made with “regular” (Persian) limes. Those work, too, but I think the especially strong flavor of Key limes is perfect for this drink. Just be warned: if you squeeze by hand, your thumbs will get sore super quick, so you may want to enlist the help of a juicer–or better yet, a friend.