frozen coconut limeade

New York City is a terrible place to summer. Whereas some water-bound towns have cool breezes rolling in off the ocean all day, we can better rely on the hot exhale of garbage trucks. Offices are set to roughly the same temperature as a polar ice cap, but subway platforms are so unfathomably sweltering that on my first day in NYC 14 years ago, I — adorably, like the wee baby New Yorker I was — uttered the words, “Is this even legal?” It’s a rare day that you don’t walk down the sidewalk and have a window a/c unit drip you-don’t-want-to-know run-off on your head. Flip-flops may cool your feet outside, but you may never recover from seeing the new color of your toes at the end of a day, and it always seems like everyone but me has Summer Fridays. The city tries, it really does, to make things more livable: the 14 beaches are free, there are dozens and dozens of free public pools, something like a zillion sprinkler parks, and you know all those endless photos you see of children frolicking in spraying fire hydrants? Hardly a symbol urban decay, it’s actually legal and encouraged. But the fact is that from July 4th on (and possibly earlier this year), anyone that has the means to be elsewhere is, and the rest of us plebes schvitz it out on the pavement.

limes saved from fridge extinction
gratuitous limes

And this summer, we’re going to do it grandly. We are going to embrace the heat. We are going to pretend we are someplace tropical and glamorous. Our summer house awaits… uh, in the blender.

lime juice for days

giving the coconut milk my best come-hither stare
ice, lime juice, elbows

My editor went to Colombia in March and came back ecstatic that she’d found the MOST DELICIOUS BEVERAGE EVER (all caps, even, from an editor so you know it was major), limonada de coco, which is essentially coconut milk, lime juice, sugar and ice ground together into what I’d probably call coconut limeade slushie but sounds, like most things, much more glamorous in Spanish. And yes, you can put rum in it too. But we did not. My son decided one hour into yesterday’s 90 degree morning yesterday that he’d had eee-nufff of the heat and of having an Ace bandage on his sprained ankle and no, he would not, could not, stop yelling. I hear you, kid, I really do. And so we decided that only a South American brain freeze would make things better and look, I don’t mean to oversell them, I don’t, but you must believe me when I tell you: this drink solves everything. It will make the stickiest weather seem bearable, it will make you feel like you’re on vacation when you’re not, and it will make you wish sandal season were longer, if only it meant you could have one of these a day.

coconut limeade, slushie-style
limonada de coco

One year ago: Espresso Granita with Whipped Cream
Two years ago: Cold Rice Noodles with Peanut-Lime Chicken
Three years ago: Linguine with Pea Pesto
Four years ago: Chocolate Doughnut Holes
Five years ago: Spanikopita Triangles + Then Some
Six years ago: Pizza with Red and Yellow Peppers
Seven years ago: Strawberry Tart

Frozen Coconut Limeade (Limonada de Coco)

  • Servings: 3 cups (we divided this into 4 8-ounce glasses)
  • Print

I understand this to be mostly a Northern Colombian drink, though I’d be happy to go investigate this in person if it is necessary to maintain the quality editorial on this site. Which it is, right? Right?

This drink is as tart as a good glass of lemonade and as refreshing as a slushie with the decadence of a milkshake. It’s barely sweet, simple as written and, I imagine, endlessly tweakable with whatever sounds good to you. I don’t think it would be unwelcome with mango or pineapple chunks blended in. I bet you could use canned cream of coconut (the sweet stuff) or sweetened condensed milk as a sweetener instead of sugar. You could add cinnamon or nutmeg on top, Caribbean-style. You could add white rum, grownup-style. You could make it sweeter, kid-style. But we had it just like this, and we’re going to do it again all summer.

  • 2 1/2 cups crushed or small ice cubes
  • 1 cup coconut milk, well-shaken if from a can
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (from about 3 limes)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated or superfine sugar (more or less to taste)
  • Lime slices for garnish

Blend every thing until it reaches your desired consistency — almost smooth, for a crunchier effect, or fully smooth, for a milkshake/creamier effect. Pour into glasses, garnish with lime and don’t forget to share.

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234 comments on frozen coconut limeade

    1. deb

      amanda — The glasses are indeed Picardie, from Duralex. You can buy them loads of places these days. We replaced our glasses with them last year in a few sizes because unless all the other glassware we’ve bought over the years, we feel hopeful that these styles will be around for a while so we can replace them as they break. (To wit, Valerie, whose chocolate cake we enjoyed this week, saw them and said “the same we used at school when I was a kid!” — I took that as a sign they’d be around for another few decades too.)

  1. As someone used to the milder climes of the UK and who is just about to spend the summer working in New York, your advice about frozen tropical drinks is very timely indeed.

  2. brittany

    wow! those look incredible! Do you think these could make the transition into popsicles fairly easily? you got me addicted to homemade ones with all your versions last year.

  3. Emily K

    This looks amazing and delicious, but i have to say, with the price of limes what they are this season, just the photos are giving me a heart attack! (It’s on my list for someday when limes are back down to $.10-.30 a piece!)

  4. Mariel

    This New Yorker does not have room in her cabinets or countertop for a blender, would this be fine shaken and on the rocks? Or…mini food processor?

  5. Can I ask what kind of blender you have? I’m curious because mine is awful, and I want to get a good one but not sure if I want to shell out 400 bucks for a Vitamix. Just curious!

    1. deb

      Jackie — I just got this Vitamix and kind of hate myself for it — the price point, mostly (although I was able to get it on sale from Costco). It’s pretty amazing if you make a lot of smoothies, though I don’t think it’s in any way mandatory for them. If you’ve had a Starbucks Frappucino, you can definitely get that smooth ice texture in it (I think they use the same). This may be a sign of how old and dull I’ve become, but I was actually sold more than else by the 7 year warranty. My last blender died after 1.5 years and I was pretty grumpy about it; I didn’t feel like buying another $100 blender with a 1-year warranty that could die soon after…

  6. CP

    Do you have a recommended procedure for obtaining coconut milk not from a can? I tried getting it straight from a raw coconut once, and the process seemed unbearably annoying. I might have done it incorrectly though… (this looks decadent by the way!).

  7. Rachel Hamel

    This looks so beautiful. I live in Dubai– where highs have been over 100 with 50%+ humidity all week long (cools down to 85-90 at night). It’s a constant battle to stay hydrated. This is my new inspiration!

  8. Margaret

    I lived in Colombia last year and thoroughly enjoyed all the juice and lime-inspired drinks. I would confirm that limonada de coco is a primarily Caribbean (so yes, Northern Colombian) drink, but it’s available in restaurants in Bogotá as well. I can’t wait to try your recipe and see if I can recreate it at home!

  9. Kris

    Hubby’s been having a bad week. I think he’s going to have one of these handed to him when he walks in the door from work tonight.

  10. amy

    Is it sick that I read your first paragraph, remembered my own firsthand experiences of the stifling subway platforms and the horrifying black feet…and had no other feeling but “oh man, I want to go back, I miss that place”?

    spoken like a perpetual wannabe New Yorker who has never actually gotten to live there despite her fervent wishes :)

    looooove coconut and lime so I will definitely have to try this. sounds wonderful.

  11. Joy

    Yum, this is like the drinkable version of my favorite sorbet to make! It uses only cream of coconut, lime juice, and water, and it turns out unbelievably creamy (due to all the coconut fat, I’m guessing).

  12. Holy Moly. These could not be more appealing right now, as I feel the morning sun getting stronger by the minute. Made a coconut cardamom cake yesterday, so have coconut milk leftover, so this was clearly meant to be. I have a feeling your frozen coconut limeade (+ rum) might replace the margaritas we had planned on enjoying this weekend…

  13. Why do they freeze any sort of indoor places like that, it drives me nuts. I enjoy the first five minutes after coming in from the sweltering heat then I start freezing my toes off in the heat of summer!

    You’re right, it does sound a lot more glamorous in Spanish hehe.I think I would add some pineapple and coconut flakes to the mix. I love the texture of coconut flakes in my coconuty drinks :)

  14. Wendy

    Hard to imagine 90 degrees when our high temp yesterday was only mid 50s but summer is coming and I do love lime. Already have a second stash of key lime pie popsicles made and in the freezer. Not quite ready for a brain freeze but will have some coconut milk on hand for when the temperature warrants making this.

  15. Leah

    Deb, I am so glad you read the City Room column, too – it is the most delightful little gem in the Times, and so few people even know it exists!

    I need help getting sold on the value of a juicer. I know you and our mutual culinary fairy godmother, Ina, always use fresh juice in your recipes, and – believe me – I’m full of self-loathing every time I cave and buy that horrible little plastic citrus-shaped jug. But I have a hard time justifying a gadget that just does one thing. Is a juicer worth it, do you think?

    1. deb

      Leah — Ha! I love that New York Today. I get grumpy when I have to get up and make someone breakfast before I get to read it. (Today I am grumpy, heh.) Electric citrus juicers are in no way mandatory kitchen appliances. I have no space for mine, but I love it. My grandmother had one in Florida when I was growing up, and I was absolutely enchanted by this idea of placing a glass underneath the machine, halving two oranges and making juice every morning. We tend to go on lemonade kicks in the summer and blood orange juice kicks in the winter (I don’t buy or drink juice otherwise, it’s not my thing) and it makes it incredibly easy. And they’re pretty inexpensive. And a four year-old can be put to work using them and I am all about child labor.

  16. I have to agree with you on the NYC summer heat. Even though I am from California, it’s dry. And I lived in Nashville for a bit, where it was humid but still bearable. When my sister lived in New York, we visited often and I got stuck there during the Northeastern Blackout of 2003, and it was miserable. There was no A/C, no showers to cool off, and it was worse inside because there was just no air flow.

    Anyways, I love that you are bringing the international frozen flavors to the people! I have been to Colombia several times, and this is right on to help you all through the summer. You’re totally right that it’s part milkshake and part slushie, which I could never quite describe. Thanks!!

  17. Erika

    Am I the only one now envisioning Kermit the Frog singing “You put the lime in the coconut and drink them both together, put the lime in the coconut and you feel better…”

  18. Heather

    Very interesting…looks like lime in da coconut from the islands (only that uses cream of coconut). Making it tomorrow for kiddos after school! Thank you for posting!

  19. What perfect timing! I just had this at a Colombian restaurant the other day and I was truly smitten! Will be making this recipe asap! It is perfect for our hot, dry, Southern California weather… and I think it would be amazing with a splash of rum too =).

  20. HA! If an editor has words in all caps, then yes, it has to be great! :)

    This drink looks amazing. Also, WHY do places insist on cranking the air conditioning up (or down, whatever) to such a cold temperature?? Then I have to bring a jacket with me everywhere I go in the SUMMER! Not cool.

  21. Betsy

    I have very fond memories of drinking many many limonadas de coco in Cartagena several years ago. It stands out in my memory as THE taste of the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Along with arroz con coco, of course. And guanabana. And arepa con huevo. And fresh grilled fish with lime. OK, yes, I ate my way through Cartagena.

  22. Erica

    1) You will NEVER be sorry you bought that Vitamix. Never.
    2) Why can’t we ever see pictures of Jacob yelling and throwing a fit? I want to see that feisty boy in action!
    3)The last summer I spent in Manhattan I walked around with my hands up in the air to keep down the swelling in my poor fingers. It was unreal. But here is SF our summers are weeks on end of freezing fog….you know, the Mark Twain quote. Want to do a home swap for a few wks?!

  23. Stephanie

    Heading to New York next week for a little vacation. It’s hot here in Northern California, but it’s a dry heat (which is different, I swear!). Should I even bother to straighten my normally very curly hair, or will the humidity just frizz it right up regardless?

    In any case, these look delicious and since it’s gets over 100 here in the summer, I will be bookmarking it for sure!

    1. deb

      Stephanie — Most days, don’t even bother. :) [Updated to add: Or go to Drybar. If Drybar were a person, I’d probably marry it.]

  24. Jessica

    Some friends and I are getting ready for a camping trip, and I decided to be the food czar. I was discussing with my husband about whether I do this because I like it – or just because I don’t trust anyone else to do a good job. He countered – who would you trust? And the first (and really only) name that came to mind was “Deb Perelman!”

    Love the site, love the drink.

  25. Sara

    (trying desperately to do kitchen math in head)
    These would be awesome in my Magic Bullet blender (16oz cups), then I wouldn’t have to share :D

  26. Susan B.

    @Emily K — lime prices have come back down! I just paid $1 for 6 and they were twice the size they were two weeks ago. Somehow a can of coconut milk made its way into my basket, too. Vitamix, on your mark…

  27. Sarah F.

    I just made this. I started with just two tablespoons of sugar and it didn’t taste so great so I added the third. To me, it tastes okay, but it leaves a weird after taste. I usually love a coconut-based fruity drink but this isn’t doing it for me. I’ll be watching to see what other people think.

  28. Hola from Colombia!
    I’ve been living here three years now (originally from London) and I’m ADDICTED to these! Sadly they are very much a northern thing (Bogotá, the capital, doesn’t have *quite* as hot a climate as the Caribbean coast does), but thankfully Crepes and Waffles now do their own version – and they have branches everywhere!
    Don’t take my word for it though, I think a fact-checking trip to Santa Marta would do the blog good ;)

  29. Natalie

    This looks delicious! My family lives in the mountains on the west side of Colombia. Much further south than Cartagena and a Good deal away from the coast. On the streets you can find a similar drink minus the coconut milk. they press the sugar cane juice directly into a big bucket of lime juice and water. It’s amazing but I can’t wait to try this version.

  30. Yolanda

    Delicious. Enjoying it right now! Added 4 ounces of rum. Splitting it between my boyfriend and I. Blended it with my magic bullet which isn’t quite powerful enough to really make it “slushy”. Still, it’s a mighty tasty summer drink!

  31. Kris

    Okay, so we tried them with key limes. Upside: living in Florida, I can just wander up the street to the Publix and get a pound for a few bucks. Downside: key limes are a bitch to juice. I ended up giving up and just throwing a whole lime in the blender with the coconut milk. Had to up the sugar a bit, but it was still delicious.

  32. I’m all for slushy-like drinks in the summer! I just made this with what I had on hand– a can of coconut cream (unsweetened), and some frozen limeade concentrate. Nothing like the real stuff, I’m sure, but it was still pretty tasty. I can’t wait to try this out with coconut milk and fresh limes!

  33. Erica

    I’m definitely going to have to try these. I have been making a version with frozen limeade and coconut rum, with a little mint as well to give it a mojito flavor. This looks just as good and less sugar. Thanks!

  34. Definitely try this! I’m all for this refreshing drink on summer. It’s really hot in here too. You’re not alone. *dying of a high degree of hotness*

  35. FIRST cookbook? Did I miss something or do you have another one in the works? ? ? YAYYYY! These look great – can’t wait to try them! Also, just a comment on the Vitamix. I had mine for 17 years, used the heck out of it! It finally bit the dust a couple of months ago. I will be getting another one SOON! For me, it has been worth every penny.

  36. Susan


    I looked at your comments and have not seen the answer that I am seeking. I love your blog and bought your cookbook and it is fabulous. Kudos! If possible, could you TEll me the brand of the electric juicer that you have pictured in this post, please? Thank you.

    1. deb

      Susan — The brand is Citristar. I like it; it works well and has a spinner for both small and large citrus. It’s not that good at removing pulp, so I usually re-strain juice if I don’t want it. I like that you can put a cup under it. There are others for less, though. I’d try one of them next time.

  37. june2

    Was just saying how great Vitamix is and that it’s totally worth remembering to register it because the 7 yr warranty is gold. Literally months before my 7 yrs were up, it developed a leaky gasket and they replaced the entire machine, including giving me a deeply appreciated new jug and tamper ($100 on its own!). Wow.

    I use it to make the creamiest hummus ever, incredible no cook soups that just need heating, and non-dairy ice cream from frozen bananas. Is worth every penny and Costco shaves nearly 300$ off so…total value. PS: this coco/lime cream drink looks sooo refreshing, thanks!

    1. deb

      june2 — Great to hear (although my grandmother would still roll over in her grave if she knew how I spent my hard-earned money, heh). Mine didn’t have anything that needed to be sent in, which I also thought was awesome, the warranty certificate came in the box. Now I’m going to check again and see if I missed anything.

  38. Caterina

    Oh, I am so making these on the weekend! Funny article about NYC – I just spent two days there in the 90 degree heat and always wonder myself about those mysterious green puddles of water that never dry up. Hmmmmm. Stay cool Deb.

  39. Houston gets such a bad rap for summer weather, and I have often wondered why the same isn’t true for NYC as I found the summers there to be even more oppressing. Your lemonade will go into the freezer today!

  40. Rebecca

    Another great VitaMix feature is you really don’t need to juice the limes, just take the skin off (or not) and throw the whole lime in. This works great for blueberry-lime margaritas.

  41. Susan

    Thank you so very much for answering my question regarding your juicer. I wish you a happy, healthy and TOLERABLE (weather-wise) New York summer.

  42. Alright all other food plans need to take a back burner to this. It has some of my FAVORITE flavors plus it is cold! Maybe I won’t hide out in the basement to cool off after I make these!

  43. Bonnie

    Can you use Silk brand coconut milk that comes in the carton? Or is the canned type more concentrated in coconut flavor and thickness?

  44. My sisters-in-law and I are more than excited that this beverage will be our signature beverage at this year’s Folk Festival in Lowell, Massachusetts. We will be adding rum. :) And Deb, your picture painting words of summer in New York are beyond brilliant.

  45. Karen

    Summer in NYC–YIKES! This recipe is luscious and couldn’t be easier. Can’t wait to make it when it warms up around here. (I hate to tell you that here in Downeast Maine it was in the 40’s last night and a breezy 63 at the moment–don’t hate me, but plan a trip to Maine before summer arrives!)

    1. deb

      Kate — Sorry, I’ve never bought it from a carton. If you can get it from one, no reason not to use it. The cans definitely separate; don’t know if cartons do.

  46. JanetP

    CP: To make your own coconut milk, put 2 cups of unsweetened flaked coconut in a blender and pour 1 cup of hot water over. Blend, then drain the liquid through cheesecloth. Squeeze well. It will keep overnight in the fridge, but it will separate.

    1. deb

      P — I’ve never tried the lemon-coconut combination before, but I bet it could be good. I’d be curious to make this with pineapple or mango, too.

    1. deb

      Christine — I’d read about the price of limes going up three months ago; I’ve found they’ve come (somewhat) back to earth since the scare did what scares always do: drive up prices. Nevertheless, this uses three limes — I paid $1.62 for three and that’s on the high end (not from a store where low prices are advertised). The coconut milk that I paid almost $4/can for set me back far more. And the total price of this, using 2/3 can of coconut milk and 3 limes, was $5 for 4 drinks, which doesn’t feel especially luxe to me.

      There are recipes on this site that are quite spendy — lobster rolls, dishes with steak — but with everything, it’s not the recipe that determines value, it’s the cook. If limes prices have kept you from this recipe, I totally understand, there will be something new to make here soon, hopefully tomorrow.

      1. Nancy

        Here in Los Angeles we buy canned coconut milk and/or cream at the dollar store. My son puts it in curries and other vegan dishes he concocts. Summer is coming! Would you welcome a coconut care package?

  47. Ahhh can’t wait to make it.

    I referenced you when posting my Rhubarb Pie Bar recipe. Sooo good and a simple send-up of your Hand Pies.


  48. Renee

    I was too cheap to buy an electric juicer but I have found a manual citrus press that gets every last drop of juice. I LOVE it and it cost about $20 Canadian. I found one on Amazon. Here is a link. Seriously…if you lack space, or are just growing tired of having to clean and put away yet another small appliance, then get one of these. I lent mine to a friend and she went out and bought an entire bag of limes just so she could use it more…she loved it that much.

    P.S. I am making these drinks for a dinner party tonight. I cant wait to try them!

  49. Caroline

    I’m pretty stoked about drinking this as close to daily as possible. I feel your summer pain–I live in Southern Louisiana, where the humidity is often at 80% or higher and the temperatures are scorching. When you go outside it’s like trying to move through warm peanut butter. Can’t wait to have these out on the balcony and pretend that I’m somewhere with exotic flowers and beaches and whatnot.

  50. Chris

    Hi again, sorry you may have deleted my question as it may have been answered in another of the comments but I did read every one..I promise :) and didn’t see anything regarding using limeade instead of limes and omitting the sugar…Do you think that would seriously alter the taste of this yummy sounding beverage.

    1. deb

      Chris — Limeade would already have sugar in it, yes, but also a lot of water so you might not get the same flavor (it would be weaker). Nevertheless, no reason not to fiddle with the ingredients you have on hand in the blender.

  51. robin garner

    i have never lived above the “mason-dixon line,” but visited nyc WAY back in the late 80s, in june, and was completely unprepared for the searing heat of the sidewalks of manhattan. i wore lovely little flip-flops out on the first day and they melted into the concrete within 5 minutes. but my friend and i had a wonderful time!

    deb, how would one turn this into a base for icecream? and suggestions from you or your readers?

  52. Staci

    We relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida from NYC last fall and I honestly believe it’s cooler here in the summer. These seem like the perfect tropical drink after a day at the beach or to bring to the pool. Or to a pool party! Thanks for sharing. And for reading my mind, as usual.

  53. Wendy

    Made this recipe this evening to celebrate the first day of summer. I tried the first few sips plain but then could hear the tequila calling for its friend the lime so I mixed in a jigger of tequila. As much as I love tequila and lime together I honestly think rum might be better. I will have to try the rum tomorrow just to be scientific and have a reason to make this again.

  54. Aimee

    I made this last night for my hubby’s birthday party and it was a hit. We made a few changes because it was a bit too tart for us. I also scaled the recipe so that it would work for 1 can of coconut milk and I could make it easily time after time.

    1 can coconut milk
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup lime juice
    1/2 spear pineapple ~(1/3 cup pineapple)
    Ice to bring everything to the 4 cup line in the blender


  55. Sue

    I want to make this for a party later today. Do you know if it will get icky and separate if I make a big batch ahead of time?

    1. deb

      Sue — It might; it will be hard to keep slushy for a while. In the freezer, mine tends to re-solidify though you can reblend it before serving. In the fridge, the icy bits melt.

  56. Marisa

    My gosh, this was delicious. (We added Kraken spiced rum as well, which I highly recommend.)

    Regarding the questions about crushed ice, we just use our blender (it’s a Cuisinart brand one), which has an “ice” setting. You need to spend some time pulsing to get the texture just right, but it works really really well.

  57. Jen

    Made it with golden rum for a bbq and it was a big hit. We blended it virgin for the kids, and then added the rum to the adult glasses & it worked very well.

  58. Well I live in a town on the water I am almost sorry to admit. BUT this drink still flies with me. I like feeling like I am on vacation. This is that kind of a beverage. I like the option of making it an adult beverage too!

  59. Emily

    for all of you remembering the Muppets singing about putting “the lime in da coconut”…”Coconut” was written and recorded by the amazing Harry Nilsson on his 1972 album Nilsson Schmilsson. He is probably most famous for the song “Everybody’s Talking” used in the movie Midnight Cowboy.
    (sorry this isn’t a food related post, but I wanted to give credit where credit was due!)

  60. I grew up in the Virgin Islands and frozen drinks always make me nostalgic for home I am going to make these when the heat wave hits this week and sit outside with a book and pretend I am reading at the beach.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  61. Kathleen

    I can give you hope regarding the Picardie glasses: I bought mine nearly twelve years ago and they survived college and my nomadic twenties- and only ONE has ever chipped. I also have the Duralex stacking glass bowls that have been with me even longer- I think I got them when I was still in high school.

    Also, this is required viewing whenever “lime” and “coconut” are mentioned together.

  62. Jeff

    The first time, we added four shots of rum to this recipe. Result was pretty bland and watery. Second time, we replaced about half the coconut milk with tequila and it was much better!

  63. Jessica

    This looks fantastic!
    On an unrelated not, has the ‘Surprise Me’ button changed on the website?
    I used to click it multiple times to have it take me to multiple recipes. Now I click it once, it takes me to a random recipe, but clicking on the button again keeps me on the same random recipe page. Just wanted to let you know in case that wasn’t an intended change.

  64. Amy P

    Re: Starbucks – in Canada we use Blendtecs. Frappuccinos include a ‘base syrup’ that keeps them from separating quite so quickly – it’s like an emulsifier, thickener, and sweetener all rolled into one. Just in case someone uses a Blendtec/Vitamix and is frustrated that it’s still not the same as a Starbucks drink…

  65. You are so right about New York summers. They are THE WORST. I got a serious case of the heebie jeebies when an air conditioner dripped on me this morning. It’s probably just condensation, but UGHhhh it’s still gross.

  66. Can I just say that I almost skipped past this post because I don’t like coconut flavored things, but you you had me at “New York is a terrible place to summer”. Your writing sucks me in EVERY time. Just wanted to let you know :) And, despite my aversion to coconut, based on you and your editor’s rave review of this drink, I just may have to try.

  67. Jillian L

    PERFECT! I made (and drank this) while cooking dinner last night, it was delicious! My kitchen was far too hot and dinner was taking forever (although worth it, because I was making pork buns from the momofuku cookbook) and this is exactly what I needed. I think I added too much lime juice, but I added some rum to balance that out, totally recommended. I’ll be drinking this many more times this summer. I’m also glad to see limes are cheap again (4 for a $1 at my local store) now just if I could find cheap coconut milk ;)

  68. Candace

    For my dairy allergic neighbor boy this about as close to a milkshake as it gets. He loved it. I liked it too, but I believe I will increase the lime juice next time.

  69. Fiona

    I changed the sugar to 2 T raw local honey but this was delicious!! So refreshing! I will definitely be making again for my husband and I ! Thanks for a great recipe!

  70. Sage

    Deb, you mentioned getting the glasses so they’d be easy to replace when they break. That’s definitely a plus, but the bigger plus is that they basically don’t break. My parents have had picardies my whole life (I’m 23) and we’ve broken … three? I think? And I absolutely excel at breaking dishes, aside from the nearly unbreakable picardies and the Corelle dishes in our family. I hope you like them as much as I do!

  71. Deb, just a heads up I made the coconut-lemon combo today as my limes molded… we won’t go there, just know that I almost cried and my 15 year old looked at me like I had just sprouted a 2nd head… I was LESS THAN impressed! However after adding mango and sweetened condensed milk and a splash of rum extract I had something that was truly nectar! It was reminiscent of my days in Puerto Rico…. A completely different taste but heavenly nevertheless! Now I’m off to pick up more limes so that I can make the coconut lime version! (which i was introduced to by my cuban “spanish” instructor many years ago but had forgotten about until you posted this! we used to drink them at every single party our class had!)

    Have a GREAT Independence Day!!

  72. Marlana

    Deb, these are amazing on a hot day! I made them with coconut sugar with delicious results, albeit a little less sweet than more refined sugars. It does change the color a bit too. These will be in heavy rotation (with a little rum) at tomorrow’s 4th of July celebration. I may opt for less ice next time, as I found them a little too thick for easy drinking using the prescribed amount.

  73. Nicki

    This looks great! Do you think it would work to make it in an ice cream maker? Would you just add 2 and half cups of water instead of ice?

  74. KQ

    pinned this, gotta try it (even though I live on the foggy side of the Bay Area) and maybe add a little fresh ginger? yum.

  75. Nikki S.

    Wow. This is an amazing recipe, even simpler than printed with my Vitamix. I made it last night and it was wonderful with baked salmon, your sautéed zucchini and almonds, and green salad. It really added some zip to our meal! Thank you for my delicious summer supper!

  76. Bea T.

    Can’t wait to try this. On a recent trip to India, where the heat was hot, we drank a lot of “fresh lime soda”–lime juice in sweetened club soda. Apparently lime juice has a lot of potassium, which is lost in sweating. So this drink is healthy too.

  77. I’m in Japan and I’m equally as miserable, yet the locals somehow wear long sleeves and pants and don’t sweat like us foreigners do (for sun protection). I don’t have a juicer for some reason, but added a little krups one to my amazon cart and can’t wait to try these out.

  78. Suzanne

    I made this and it is delicious! I also made popsicles out of it. As you mentioned Deb, it is an icy pop with ice crystals. Also because it takes a while to freeze, it separated a bit which it made it look clear at the top and bottom and white in the middle. It still tasted great.

  79. Nancy

    This is truly the most amazing summer drink – full-fat coconut milk for sure and a little agave instead of sugar. Just went out and bought a BIG bag of limes and two cases of coconut milk :)) Love your cookbook too, BTW!

  80. Sandy

    I made this last night for my mom and I ^_^. We both had decent size (tall) glasses so the recipe made two filled to the top glasses for us. As you say it is not a sweet beverage but it is very refreshing and I loved the combination of coconut and lime, it’s a pair of flavours I have never tried before.

  81. NICK

    We just got from Colombia and yes these are everywhere and very very delicious. We also had them with rum, they called those ones Coco Locos!!! Thanks for posting!

  82. Kelly

    Oh. my. god. I am currently 6 months pregnant, and cold, fruity things are the best thing ever right now. I made this tonight and it was sooo good! I added a little more ice because I wanted mine thicker and just a touch of lime zest. So tart and refreshing! I think this will be a staple for the rest of the summer. It also seems like a great way to get some calories and healthy fats in, too!

  83. Kristen

    This is totally kid approved. My 3 and 5 year old devoured their “lime slushies” while splashing like rockstars in their kiddie pool this weekend. After the kids had theirs, we might have added rum to the leftovers. SO good.

  84. Rosa

    Just wanted to let people know that I’ve made this 3 or 4 times within the last month or so. SUPER delicious! I must confess, though, that I made it with fresh lemon juice, instead of lime, as the lemons were cheaper. It was delicious each time. TODAY I made it again and this time used lime juice. I have to confess, I like it better with the lemon juice. I don’t know what it is…Lime was good, I suppose, but…I prefer lemon juice. :-)

  85. Naomi

    I left out the ice and put the mix in my ice cream maker. The result was decadent!! I did up the sugar just slightly.

  86. Penny

    I live in mid-Florida, where it’s basically New York end of July all year, and I tell you that halfway thru my very full glass, I actually went OUT and sat on my porch. I never go out willingly into the heat. The drink is that good.

  87. Penny

    A week later, and I must confess that I’ve made this every day since! I peeked at another of your recipes and threw in a few raspberries several times. It becomes pink and is also delicious. I finally tried the cinnamon today…also really good!

  88. Allison

    I haven ‘t tried this with fresh limes yet. I am lazy so I mix 1 can of limeade and 1 can of coconut milk and keep in the refrigerator. When I want some, I mix about 1 part mix and 2 parts water and lots of ice in the blender. A splash of club soda or 7-up stirred in just before serving is yummy. I haven’t had success with carton coconut milk, either refrigerated or shelf stable. They tend to curdle and looks terrible.

  89. I’m definitely going to try-out the this refreshing drink tomorrow. I am just on to buy the ingredients from local grocery shop. Let’s hope I do it as it as tomorrow in my kitchen. I will post the update on how it came out later. Anyways, can I use condensed milk powder instead of sugar? because my uncle has diabetics and don’t want to consume a lot of sugar. Anyways, thanks for posting a good write-up.

  90. This frozen coconut limeade recipe is phenomenal and can’t wait to try it. I’m a quadcopter lover and never interested in cooking until I saw this awesome recipe. This summer I ‘m going to give a break to my drone hobby and try this instead. By the way can I use milk instead of sugar because I’m health conscious person. Anyways, this is good article for people like me.

  91. Definitively one of my favourite cocktails! I love it!

    My husband and I sometimes add some alcohol on it (usually vodka) and it’s delicious too.

    It also blends perfectly with some soft rum.

  92. Very interesting…looks like lime in da coconut from the islands (only that uses cream of coconut). Making it tomorrow for kiddos after school! Thank you for posting!

  93. Shan

    Deb, I am two weeks away from my due date and coconut and lime have been my biggest cravings this time… I almost started crying with relief when I saw this in my newsfeed. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  94. Sarah

    Since you’re using a vitamix to make this, you could throw in chunks of lime (peel and all) instead of juicing them beforehand. Do you think it would take fewer limes to do it that way? Or would it be too strong with the peel?

  95. amaranth16

    I am drinking one of my summer standbys that is quite similar right now: the juice of one lime, about 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk (to taste), and 8 ounces of seltzer stirred together and served over ice. I’m eager to try the coconut version!

  96. M Stowe

    I had never heard of these before, but now they’re a favorite and are going to be a summer staple. I’ve made them twice, once last night for me and the hubby and once today as a refreshing treat for my son after he mowed our lawn. The recipe as written was is delicious!

  97. Made this tonight because I was tired, headachey and desperate for a vacation. Totally transported me to a beach, so bracing and zippy after too much bland winter food. Definitely made my recent Cusinart juicer worth it!

  98. Liz

    Hi Deb, thanks so much for your recipes! I always enjoy reading them, even if I can’t try them!
    I am on a strict diet, no sugars (almost no natural, no others) allowed. But this drink looks SO good and inviting, I want to try it! Do you think this would still taste good if I used the unsweetened coconut cream, or might that change it drastically? I’ve never used it before, and am hoping it will still be good. Thanks so much!

    1. deb

      This calls for coconut milk, which is unsweetened. There is sugar added, but I think you’ll find this drink barely sweet. Do adjust to your needs, however.

  99. Tracy

    Yay!! I’m a huge and long-time fan of yours, Jen, and I know your recipes are top notch. I moved to Colombia about a year ago and will be moving back to NY next year…limonada de coco was one thing I was hoping I wouldn’t have to leave behind! I make everyone who visits me try it and it’s always a huge hit. Thanks for the recipe!

  100. Alexandra

    Ok, I just made this as a post swim snack for me and my kids. WAYYYYYYY too tart! I will cut back on the lime next time…maybe only 1/4 C?? And maybe use a sweetened coconut cream?? It looks delish but still needs some tweaking before it’s a winner over here.

  101. MahtzieB

    This was the perfect way to cool off during a hot and humid week here in San Diego! So simple, yet so full of flavor! Perfection!

  102. Jane

    I came across your website because I’ve been craving coconut lime icy drinks and this is it!!! I’m 12 weeks pregnant and I can’t find any drink I can actually tolerate. I’m glad I came across this recipe!

  103. Christine Harry

    I wonder how this would be with lemons. I have an allergy to limes (gasp! Sob! Tears!) but love coconut. Thoughts?

    1. rageflower

      This looks AMAZING! I have maybe a silly question. When I open a can of coconut milk frequently it is partially solidified. Do I just break that up and add it like I would when cooking, or just use the part that is still liquid?

  104. Noemi

    I just made this with some tweaks– coconut cream instead of milk, and I added a frozen banana. Delicious and simple!

  105. kristyreal

    I just wanted to say that this recipe works perfectly as a treat for diabetics/low carbers with this one substitution:
    liquid or powder stevia substituted for sugar (I imagine coconut flavored liquid stevia would be even better). Just really love this recipe – I make a gelatin version sweetened with stevia as well.

  106. Michael f.

    I have never contemplated this idea. I went out and bought the coconut milk but we always have limes on hand, who doesn’t have sugar or ice? This seems simple… every drink does not need alcohol. Especially on a hot summer day. Well unless you have a barbeque, friends and a pool. Thanks for the recipies

  107. Sandy Lentz

    Deb those colorful straws look great in the photos, but they are awful for the environment. They require plastic material, energy for manufacturing and shipping, are used for just a few minutes and then persist in the environment, eaten by animals, fish and birds, for a very long time. Many restaurants have moved to paper (biodegradable) straws, giving them out only when requested. I hope you will think about this. You may not want to speak out about it, (though I hope you would), but could you leave them out of your gorgeous pictures???

  108. Emily

    My kids and I enjoy fresh lime and lemon juice in many things. Made this and cut back to 2 tablespoons of sugar and we loved it. Pretended it’s not 24 degrees outside. Great way to use up some leftover coconut milk.

  109. marynichols42

    these look drool-worthy indeed. In the spirit of the Peach Melba popsicles (recipe above this one), can these be frozen into popsicles too? or would they be too slushy?

  110. I had something like this on a beach bar in Negril. the only difference is they added a bit of rum. Glad I found your recipe. I will try the non rum version

  111. Adam McConnaughahy

    I love that someone has a recipe up for this. I love getting Limonadas de Coco here in Cartagena, they are so refreshing! I had never tried to make it though. I’m going to have to work on getting the creamy consistency.


    I like to add a splash of cranberry juice to frozen coconut drinks. I’m anxious to try it! Love Smitten Kitchen!

  113. Julia

    I just made some yesterday so delighted to see your post. I use one can of cream of coconut and juice of 5-6 limes and lots of ice. It’s amazing every time.

    If you do investigate in person, a trip to Cartagena is in order. The Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa makes the best limonada de coco in the city. I know because I’ve sampled all over the over the course of multiple visits.

  114. Betsy Gordon

    How best to make a bigger batch in the morning and keep it till a lunch potluck? This would knock their socks off!

  115. Shelly

    I just saw this recipe and threw it together in the spur-of-the-moment. Yes, RealLime juice was substituted for fresh, but it’s still delicious. Next time I’m going to add a splash of rum. :) . Thanks for sharing.

  116. Jo

    Your recipes are amazing. I love your book, and am on your site almost daily for the next great thing to eat. Just this weekend we made the grilled corn salad and the other corn thing (potato, bacon, corn, egg). Fresh corn from the farmer market yeah! Have loved everything of yours I’ve tried, and NOW I want this coconut lime drink. 💖

  117. AMS

    I saw this recipe come across my feed while our family was vacationing in Hawaii – it was the hit of the week! We followed the recipe as outlined and it came out perfectly. We loved it so much!

  118. NAnderson

    I loved this! I had to use lime juice from a bottle because that’s all I had on hand. It wasn’t quite sweet enough for my daughter, but a couple squirts of Coco Lopez did the trick! I made her virgin and mine tasted perfect with a splash of Malibu.

  119. Julia

    This was so good and so easy! I tried it with no alcohol, and with tequila and both ways were great. Another slam dunk from Deb!

  120. Sylvie

    Made this on Lbor Day weekend and found it to be “meh”. Wish I’d sampled a bit before pouring into glasses; I would’ve added a bit of pineapple juice for a loosely traditional piña colada. Not a keeper for me.

  121. Why do they freeze any sort of indoor places like that, it drives me nuts? I enjoy the first five minutes after coming in from the sweltering heat then I start freezing my toes off in the heat of summer!

  122. Ben

    You put the lime in the coconut. You drink then bot’ up. I put on Harry Nilsson’s Coconut song and made this. It was great. Now I’ll be singing it all day. :)

  123. Liz M

    Oh my stars!! This was the creamiest, dreamiest, most perfect cure for summer heat. I’m down in Tennessee and the humidity is brutal – especially at 34 weeks pregnant. This recipe showed up in my email and it was perfection. I happened to have all the ingredients on hand as luck would have it. I substituted an artificial sweetener in place of the sugar as I am trying to be mindful of my sugar intake at the moment. It turned out perfectly still. This is going on summer repeat.

  124. Yenni en español

    I live in Medellin, Colombia and it’s definitely a thing. It’s everywhere. Que rico! You can also find it with additions such as mint or basil, sometimes fruit. I’ve never needed to make it because it’s available everywhere and dirt cheap, but I’m going to give it a go for fun. And you would be amazed at all the fresh juice available everywhere from fruits you’ve probably never heard of like lulo which is delicious! I’ve got a spare room if you want to visit 😁.

  125. Avra

    I don’t have a small ice cube tray or the means to make crushed ice– any ideas for translating the 2.5 cups to standard sized ice cubes? Do you have a weight for 2.5 cups of crushed/small ice cubes?