Minted Lime Licuado

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Yesterday I was flipping through a cookbook when I stumbled upon a beverage recipe for a Minted Lime Licuado. A quick perusal of the ingredient list assured me that this drink was definitely something I was going to want in my belly. Mint, lime, and crushed ice come together to make this iced drink—really, what's not to love? Still, one question remained.

What on earth was a licuado?

Thank goodness for the internet and it's infinite source of wisdom (some days I'm really not sure what I'd do without it). After a quick search, I found all I needed to know.

A licuado is a popular Latin-American drink that is slowly forging its way into American culture. Typically made with milk, fresh fruit, and ice, you can think of it like the Latin-American version of a smoothie. However, they are not to be confused with the smoothies we know and love. Licuados are much healthier, have a thinner consistency, and contain much less sugar than the conventional smoothie (who knew?). Licuados can also be made with water instead of milk, which brings me back to this particular licuado.

While definitely not an "authentic" recipe (I'm fairly certain using frozen limeade concentrate is considered blasphemy to the traditional licuado), it makes this drink a snap to make. I think a drink that is this delicious and simple to prepare is something we all can get behind, authentic or not.

This Minted Lime Licuado is cool and utterly refreshing. Reminiscent of a mojito without the alcohol, the flavors of the lime and mint blend together beautifully. The crushed ice gives this drink texture and keeps it cool long after you start drinking. This drink would go perfectly with a side of chips and salsa and the next sunny afternoon.

Minted Lime Licuado

Adapted from The Eating Well Dessert Cookbook

Yields 1 2-cup serving

1/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate
3 tablespoons (small handful) mint leaves
1 cup water
5-6 large ice cubes

In a blender, combine limeade, mint leaves, water, and ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Pour into a cold glass, garnish with mint leaves, and enjoy!