I live in central, coastal Israel, a 20 minute drive from the Mediterranean Sea. Every single day from May through October, the temperature outside at mid-day is exactly 30C (86F) and sunny. Oh sure, occasionally it’s 33 or 34 and that’s called a heat wave. When it drops to 27 it’s called unseasonably cool. But the fact that there are people who actually go to school here for meteorology and then show up on the evening news every night as though they have something to actually report other than 30C and sunny, boggles my mind.
ANY time I look at it, this is what it shows.
I know that other parts of this tiny country have slightly different weather, and sometimes there is fog or variations in humidity levels, or even sand storms, but seriously, 6 months of the year are pretty much identical weather-wise. Starting in November it begins to cool off a bit and by the end of that month it rains. With the splash of those first heavy raindrops, you suddenly realize how glorious rain is. You might even cry. You will definitely stop and stare. If you are under 10, you’ll run outside and dance in it. Judaism even has a prayer for the occasion of the first rain fall and Hebrew has a word for it. That very first rain of the year is called Yoreh and it is a deeply glorious moment, even more so I imagine for the thirsty plants!
But back to 30C and sunny: I don’t know where the tradition of putting fresh mint and ice into lemonade and blending it all up began, but I do know that without a doubt it’s the coolest, most refreshing thing you could ever drink on a hot day.
A typical Friday afternoon beach repast. Pickled veggies in the foreground, beer and labaneh (a yogurt dip) for hubs, mint lemonade and hummus for me.
The good news is that you don’t have to go to the beach for Mint Lemonade, you can make it at home too no matter where you live or what the weather is there!
Note about the name: Limonada is lemonade in Hebrew. Nana is mint in Hebrew. Therefore, limonana is the hybrid name for this concoction. Garoos means ground up, as in the ice. A limonana garoos then, is an icy, slushy minty lemonade. Now, come visit and you can order it yourself! I am saving you a beach chair…
- 2 standard ice cube trays of ice (about 2 cups ice)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 4-6 Tbsp sugar or agave or you could even try dates or stevia if you are avoiding sugar
- Put everything in a blender that can crush ice.
- Blend until bright green and frothy.