Limbacha sarbat is a refreshing drink I used to have growing up that is very similar to lemonade. I rediscovered it after recently purchasing a Marathi cookbook (‘Marathi’ refers to folks who speak the language Marathi often originating from the state of Maharashtra in India.) In Kaumadi Marathe’s book, there is a recipe for Limbacha sarbat, also known as “Marathi lemonade” with a pinch of cardamom powder. I loved the sound of the mint flavor balanced with slightly spiced cardamom and the bright, sour flavor from the lemon. Naturally, I decided to create my own version of the recipe. This cardamom and mint lemonade is cool, refreshing, tart, and addicting. Best of all, it’s easy and infinitely customizable.
This delightful lemonade flavored with cardamom and mint was inspired by an Indian Marathi Lemonade recipe in Kaumadi Marathe’s cookbook, Essential Marathi Cooking.
How do I make this mint lemonade with cardamom?
You first start by making a simple syrup infused with cardamom. Once the mixture cools, you stir it into fresh-squeezed lemon juice, add water, ice, and mint. That’s it! The simple syrup can be used for a number of other applications, like cocktails, ice creams and sorbets, or drizzled over a moist cake.
How to make simple syrup
Simple syrup is a concoction of equal parts water and sugar. You heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves, then let it cool to room temperature. That’s it!
Subscribe to the Home Cooking Collective
Get the tastiest recipes and helpful cooking tips right to your inbox!
What substitutions can I make in this mint lemonade?
Sugar: You can use other natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Keep in mind, these will slightly change the flavor of the lemonade — you may taste slightly more caramel notes. Additionally, both honey and maple syrup are sweeter than granulated sugar so you may need to reduce the amount used in the simple syrup.
Cardamom: To keep this lemonade true to its intent, I don’t recommend substituting cardamom the first time you try it. But the same method can be used for a number of different lemonade flavors, like lavender or ginger. You’ll need to test the exact amounts, but you can infuse anything in the simple syrup to achieve the same result.
Lemons: This recipe calls for conventional lemons but meyer lemons could just as equally be used. Feel free to use limes instead, as well, though you will need to increase the amount of sugar since lemons are sweeter.
Mint: Feel free to omit mint if you don’t like it. You can also muddle the mint at the bottom of your lemonade glass before pouring in the rest of the ingredients for a deeper flavor.
How long does this simple syrup last?
The syrup should last you at least two weeks in the fridge up to a month kept in an airtight container.
What can I serve with mint lemonade with?
I love serving this mint lemonade with grilled meat or a refreshing salad, such as this watermelon and charred corn salad.
Did you try this recipe? I would love to hear your feedback! Be sure to rate the recipe and leave a comment below.
For even more cozy recipes, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter.Happy eating! Love, Karishma
Mint Lemonade with Cardamom Recipe
For the simple syrup
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, for a punchier drink, double this amount or let the syrup sit in the fridge overnight to intensify the flavors
- 1/4 cup water, plus more for the lemonade
For each serving of lemonade
- 4 small ice cubes or 3 large ice cubes
- 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons cardamom simple syrup, see recipe below
- 2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from about 1 lemon, plus more if desired
For the simple syrup:
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, whisk the sugar, cardamom, and water until the sugar dissolves.1/4 cup granulated white sugar, 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, 1/4 cup water
- Pour the liquid into a heatproof container. Cool completely before using.
For each serving of lemonade:
- In an 8-ounce glass, add ice cubes and mint.4 small ice cubes or 3 large ice cubes, 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped mint leaves
- Stir together 2 tablespoons lemon juice and simple syrup, then fill the glass with enough water to taste. Feel free to add additional syrup or lemon juice as necessary.2 tablespoons cardamom simple syrup, 2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice, Water