One of my go-to summer cafe drinks is limonana, a Hebrew portmanteau of the words limon (lemon) and nana (mint) that sounds like limonada (lemonade). Limonana is generally a slushy type drink made with those two ingredients, plus a good amount of sugar. If I want something alcoholic, I’ll opt for a limonarak, lemonade mixed with the local anise-flavored alcohol, arak. Both are delicious, refreshing and roll right off the tongue! While these drinks can easily be replicated at home, I’ve decided to take them up a notch and add a twist, as I’ve done for many festive things over the past few months. I’m spending many more evenings in the safety of my home, at a nearby park or on the beach. What a perfect time for a homemade popsicle.
- Simple Syrup
- ½ cup sugar (add a bit extra if you like things extra sweet)
- ½ cup water
- 3 mint leaves, rinsed
- Pop Base
- 15–20 mint leaves, rinsed
- 1½ cups fresh lemon juice (from 3–4 lemons depending on size and juiciness)
- 6 ice cubes
- 2 cups water*
- Simple syrup: Combine water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once sugar has dissolved, remove from heat, add 3 mint leaves, cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- Pops: Combine cooled simple syrup, mint leaves, water and ice cubes in the blender and blend until the mint is finely blended and mixed in. Pour into popsicle molds, cover and freeze overnight, or until frozen. When ready to serve, run molds under hot water to loosen the popsicles.
- Don’t be alarmed if the mint has all floated to the top. Thanks to the simple syrup you’ll still have the mint flavor infused throughout the whole popsicle.
- * For a boozy adult version, use about 1¾ cups water and ¼ cup arak (or any other anise-flavored liquor). Be careful not to overdo it, since the alcohol won’t freeze, and you’ll end up with slushies.