Limonada Suiça, or Brazilian Lemonade, is a summer staple. It’s also sublime: Quartered, skin-on limes (in Brazil, they’re called green lemons, hence the name) get blitzed in a blender with sugar, sweetened condensed milk, water and ice until the mix is frothy, smooth and opaque.
But unlike other summer standbys, like frozen Margaritas or elderflower spritzes, Limonada Suiça has a certain decadence. It’s light, thanks to the bright, pithy aromatics of the lime peels, but it’s also creamy, capable of transcending well past warm-weather drinking. Perhaps with a few adjustments, the rich but light-on-its-feet Limonada Suiça is just what we need to cut through the heavy, nog-laden winter.
To give the drink an appropriately festive air, consider a Limonada Suiça Ramos created by Leanne Favre, of Brooklyn, New York’s Leyenda. Giving the cocktail its citrusy tang is “Lime Scrap Cello,” as Favre dubs it, an easy-to-make ingredient inspired by her Italian family’s homemade limoncello. At Leyenda, leftover lime peels are used instead of lemon, for a slightly more bitter version. To make it, simply infuse peels in Everclear then add sugar. (It does take a week to infuse, so keep that in mind if Ramoses are in your holiday entertaining plans—as they should be).
Favre’s Ramos adds other accents to the fizz template, too, like the vanilla-forward Spanish liqueur Licor 43 and génépy, which, with its bracing gentian flavor, further cements this spiked Limonada Suiça as a winter-appropriate drink.
But if shaking up Ramoses for your dinner guests is too much to juggle between other culinary and drink-making pursuits, the “Lime Scrap Cello” works just as well on its own, too. According to Favre, you should chill it and serve it neat: “It makes a beautiful digestivo.”