Our little family is heading to the Minnesota State Fair today (barn animals! crowds! butter sculptures! foods on sticks!), as is tradition. And it’s the unofficial official last week of summer. This is a big deal, you guys. Let’s soak it all up, minty lemonade slush style.
This tasty bev is actually in part a homage to our dear state fair, as every year I’ve gone I’ve made a beeline to the Holy Land Deli concession stand in the International Bazaar (near the haunted house and the dairy building, naturally) where they sell the most delicious mint lemonade you could ever have. It’s thirst-quenching, it’s refreshing, it’s sweet, it’s minty, it’s tart, it’s everything you always wanted in a summertime drink. I’ll be making that beeline again today for sure, but to know I can also just walk into my kitchen and have the same experience is a heavenly revelation.
What I didn’t know is that this drink is also called a limonana, and it is a common drink in the Middle East. At the fair, they just call it Mediterranean lemonade, and it’s sadly (or thankfully?) not as popular of a fair treat as I’d expect (people are more into the deep-fried pickles and mac and cheese curds, I guess). Only a select few know about this beverage, and those people likely crave it annually as much as I do.
If ever there was a day that I went to the State Fair and this minty lemonade slush was not there waiting for me, there would be much weeping. So I hope they keep the drink available, every year, just for me. It’s truly why I brave the crowds (OK, and for Sweet Martha’s cookies). It’s a small request, but we Minnesotans are kind, so I’m sure they’d oblige.
And if that day ever did come, at least I know I can make a pretty darn close replica of it at home with ease. It’s just a matter of blending sugar, water, fresh mint, lemon juice, ice and a drop or two of orange blossom water if you have it (which I do, of all things!) into a sweet-tart-icy concoction of unparalleled refreshment. If you don’t have the privilege of being able to go to the Minnesota State Fair yourself, at least give this drink a try at home. I have a feeling you’ll fall for it as hard as I did.
If you need me, I’ll be near the dairy building holding a minty lemonade slush in one hand, a Pronto Pup in the other and enjoying every last minute of summer while it lasts.
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ cup plus 6 tablespoons water, divided
- 40 fresh mint leaves (from about 4 mint stems)
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 6 small lemons)
- 1 to 2 drops orange blossom water (optional)
- 18 to 20 ice cubes
- Add sugar and 6 tablespoons water to blender. Blend on high 30 seconds to 1 minute until sugar is dissolved. Add remaining ½ cup water, mint leaves, lemon juice, orange blossom water if desired, and ice cubes. Blend on high until mixture is well blended and slushy. Divide among serving glasses. Serve immediately.