We had frozen “Limonana” (Lemonana) at Dizengoff in Philadelphia recently and I was struck by the herbal flavor of it, and by how well it went with their very excellent hummus. Lemonana is basically lemonade with a generous dose of mint, and it’s been called the national drink of Israel. This aint your Grandma’s lemonade–it’s assertively tart with a divine herbal edge. It can be made in a good variety of ways, but I know they make a mint syrup at Dizengoff, and they choose to serve it frozen. I looked at a bunch of Lemonana online and developed this easy recipe, which tastes a lot like the one at Dizengoff. I’m convinced, however, that Dizengoff uses a secret ingredient–some savory herb or something. I’ll be trying that in future, but in the meantime, this is so good and refreshing that I’m satisfied.
Serves: 2 to 3
1 Cup water
1 Cup sugar
1.5 oz. fresh mint
Combine water and sugar in a very small saucepan and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and wait 10 minutes for the syrup to cool slightly. Stir in fresh mint, cover and let steep for 15-30 minutes. Remove and discard mint leaves or strain syrup through a mesh sieve and allow to come to room temperature. Store in a sealed glass jar or bottle in refrigerator for up to one month.
1/2 Cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 Cup water
2/3 Cup mint syrup
2 drops orange blossom water (optional)
20-30 ice cubes
To a blender, add lemon juice, water, mint syrup and orange blossom water, and stir. Add ice and blend until frozen, adding a little more ice if necessary. Taste.
Notes: My ice cubes are those smaller crescent-shaped ice “cubes” that come out of an ice dispenser in my freezer. You may need more ice than this, unless you’re using the old-fashioned, big rectangular ice cubes. Any leftover mint syrup can also be used in iced tea, of course. To save time, make mint syrup ahead and have it well chilled. Two photos of Dizengoff below. Dizengoff has a cult following for their hummus and their pita bread.