Latin Twist: Limonada (OR play with your drinks!)


Strawberry Lemonade2Limonada, lemonade, is synonymous with summer! The fun thing about drinks like lemonade is that, and my friends you’ve heard me say this before, the sky’s the limit! After all, all you need to make any fabulous drink is a combination of fresh and tasty ingredients; lemonade is an easy canvas upon which you can make many a beautiful painting!

Throughout the Americas, and the Caribbean, you can find lovely limonada in several incarnations; it can be combined with ginger (as I’ve done in my ginger-lemonade champagne cocktail!) or any fruit that you have on hand. Today we’re talking strawberry!

Another wonderful quality of limonada, is it’s “combinability” factor beyond the fruit: you can combine it with alcohol (or not!) and served it with a variety of dishes.

So, mis amigos, here’s my recommendation. Let’s say you’re enjoying this fabulous summer weather and hosting a barbecue. Make a BIG batch of limonda, and then keep it cool to serve to the non-alcohol imbibing crowd as made, and perhaps with a bit of rum or vodka for your alcohol drinkers! Either way, it’s great with anything you choose to grill!

Would love to hear about YOUR favorite lemonade! Until then, ¡buen provecho! Enjoy!

Latin Twist: Limonada (OR play with your drinks!)

Yield: 1

This recipe for limonada is of the strawberry variety! It's adapted from one published in Latin Grill--by Rafael Palomino with Arlen Gargagliano (!)--in 2010 by Chronicle books. Photos are by Dan Goldberg! Simply multiply for more takers--


  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • Fresh lime juice, about 1/2 ounce or to taste
  • 4 teaspoons sugar (or to taste!)
  • 4 strawberries hulled and quartered
  • 4 ounces water
  • 1 cup ice
  • 4 teaspoons mango purée (or mango nectar)


  1. Combine the lemon, lime juice, sugar and three of the strawberries in a bar glass.
  2. Muddle all together until the strawberries become almost a purée.
  3. Add the water, ice, and mango purée.
  4. Cover and shake well!
  5. Fill a glass with ice. Strain the lemonade into the glass.
  6. Garnish with the remaining strawberry and serve!


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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